Popping a balloon with spaghetti

Gorazd Planinšič, Eugenia Etkina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Imagine a balloon sitting on a tabletop. The balloon is free to move. You take one uncooked spaghetti noodle. Can you pop the balloon with this spaghetti? If you try, you will quickly see that you cannot [Fig. 1(a)]. You might think that the reason for the failure is the movement of the balloon. As it is not supported by anything, it moves away the moment you touch it with the spaghetti. But you also observe that the noodle breaks. Are these the explanations of your lack of success? To test both explanations of the balloon popping failure, the movement of the balloon (E1) and breaking of the spaghetti noodle (E2), we will perform testing experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-310
Number of pages2
JournalPhysics Teacher
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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