Atmosphere exerts pressure on everything that is in it. You can easily demonstrate this by putting a thin layer of water in a small bowl. Take a glass and invert it over the bowl. You should have no more water than is necessary to cover the lip on the inverted glass. Now you can take the glass away and add a few drops of food coloring to the water, so you can more easily see the water. put a candle in the center of the water in the bowl. Light the candle. Invert the glass over the candle and into the water as before. As you already know, the candle will eventually go out, but this time observe what happens to the water level within the jar. Because the candle used up all the oxygen (so there are less molecules), the air in the glass could not exert as much pressure as it did before. There becomes more pressure on the water outside the glass than on the water inside the glass. As a result, the greater outside pressure begins pushing water up inside the glass. Eventually, however, the water level goes back down because the extra water added to the force from the air pressure, and at some point this weight makes up for the lost air pressure. This is really the principle that makes barometers work.
- Weather Station: Barometer
- Air pressure Demonstrations
- Air Pressure and the Mass of Air
- Changing Temperature
Topic Questions for Research
- What are the layers of the earth's atmosphere, and what makes each layer unique?
- What are the layers within the homosphere and what are the differences between these layers?
- What are the layers and unique characteristics of the heterosphere?
- Discuss atmosphere, atmospheric pressure and the barometer.
- What ate jet streams and where do they exist?
- Discuss the difference in temperature and air pressure in the layers of atmosphere.
Sources and Resources
Exploring Creation With Physical Science, Jay Wile