Communion Of Dreams

September 24, 2010, 10:04 am
Filed under: Science, Sixty Symbols, Space, YouTube

Getting back to Sixty Symbols . . .

Today’s symbol/vid is  Vacuum and Pascals which stands for “Pascal” – the SI measurement of vacuum.

This is a fun video. Just let the words “vacuum cannon” bounce around in your head for a moment, and you’ll see the possibilities. It’s a graphic demonstration of the amount of air pressure we live with here on Earth, and how a vacuum can be used. A little more historical context for the idea of a vacuum would have been welcome (one of the first steam engines – the Newcomen – used vacuum pressure to create mechanical energy), but the folks at Sixty Symbols are trying to teach a little science, not history. And it does nicely explain how what most people think of as a vacuum is nothing like what exists in space, or what scientists need to do to recreate such a vacuum in the lab.

And the vacuum cannon is just plain cool. Check it out.

Jim Downey

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