Properties of Matter

Water Standing on Air

Water stands like magic on a perforated screen. Visitors try to suspend as much water as they can on the metal screen. When the tube is turned quickly and smoothly to an exact vertical position, two forces conspire to suspend water above a metal screen. Attraction between water molecules (surface tension) in the upper chamber, and a higher air pressure in the lower chamber help achieve this effect. Attraction between water molecules (called surface tension) holds the water together so it doesn't drip through the holes in the metal screen.