Day 9: Heron’s Fountain

Today in AP Physics 2, we derived the equation for the buoyant force on an object by applying a combination of the unbalanced force particle model (UBFPM) and our static fluid pressure model. We then discussed Archimedes Principle conceptually by focusing on balanced forces. We took a break from these derivations and discussions to examine Heron’s Fountain and try to figure out how it worked.

After some careful observations, the class, usually led by a couple of students, figured out the mechanism. The fountain also provided an opportunity to discuss conservation of energy (is the fountain a perpetual motion machine?) which also was raised in the discussion of Pascal’s Principle applied to hydraulic lifts.