Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Submarine Science Project

Several years ago, my brother had to do the school science project where you're required to "make a submarine that submerges and re-surfaces". This is one of those things where, if one of my kids were to get that assignment, I would spend hundreds of dollars "helping" them make the most perfect toy submarine possible, with solenoid-controlled Main Ballast Tank vent valves and those little CO2 cartridges to blow the water out; it'd all be radio-controlled, of course. Back then, though, I was working long distance, and I think the project was due the next day. So, if you find yourself in this situation, here's what you need to do:

1) Get some raisins (not the kind from a "Raisin Bran"-type cereal, though; if that's all you got, you'll have to wash off all the sugar coating.)
2) Fill a glass with vinegar
3) Add a tablespoon of baking soda
4) Put the raisin in the glass

The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar releases a gas (probably carbon dioxide -- it's been 17 years since I got my Chemistry B.S.) which collects as bubbles in the crevices of the raisin. When enough bubbles collect, the raisin rises to the top of the glass as the bubbles displace enough water, whereupon the bubbles burst due to the lower pressure. Freed of the gas bubbles, the raisin sinks, and the process repeats. My brother got a 100% on the project, as I recall. (Mom, you reading this? Did I remember the story right?)

Actually, as I did some research after I wrote this, it turns out that you can do the same thing just by putting raisins in a clear carbonated beverage.

Going deep...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radio controlled submarine? How does that work underwater? Must use a very low frequency, huh?

2/25/2005 11:43 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

My guess is that it's supposed to be operated in a pool or some other small body of water; a low frequency transmitter putting out a wavelength that could penetrate more than a few feet of water would have to be much larger than hand-held, I would think.

2/25/2005 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! I'm gonna go try this right nowxD
- a frustrated girl with a science project due

10/14/2008 8:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I create a positive buoyant plastic bottle sub with coins weight bounded in tissues paper. Once the tissues paper gets wet and dissolved, the sub floated up.

7/03/2013 10:06 AM


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