Pilot Manages To Drink Water From Cup While Flying Upside Down
Uh...huh? How does that even work? A jet fighter pilot pours himself a glass of water in the cockpit, while the jet is apparently doing rolls. A subtitle reads, “WHY I LOVE PHYSICS”, so we know this is a video with a lesson.
We may not know what the physics involved in keeping water in your cup while upside down is (well, some of you probably do), but we are sure this is a cool trick. Assuming this is real, and not trick photography, all you need to do what this pilot is doing is your own fighter jet. Sounds like an expensive way to prove a point, but it is in the name of science, so he can be forgiven.
We probably have the physics phenomenon of centripetal force to thank for this demonstration. If centrifugal force causes a body to move away from the center of rotation (like when you're in a car and steer quickly to the left, but your body wants to lean to the right), centripetal force wants to keep a body pinned to the center of rotation. So, the water is forced in the direction of the center of rotation, which just so happens to be toward the bottom of the glass. Ergo, the water is forced back down into the glass.
At one point we can see the water isn't quite level in the glass, but appears slightly tilted. That's showing us that centrifugal force is also at play here, because the water is doing what your body does when you're in that car that suddenly wants to turn left, but your body wants to keep going right.
Centripetal force, centrifugal force, let's call the whole thing off! Because in the end, sometimes the fun of being amazed means we have to be a little in the dark about the how and why of a stunt. This would make a great science project, but the only way to bring this back to class - assuming you could borrow dad's jet, is to make a video of the stunt, which is exactly what this man has done.
At first it seems almost beyond belief, but after having centripetal force explained to you, and watching a few related videos using diagrams and such, one eventually gets the idea, and the principles of mechanical force sink in. But then it occurs to you to ask yourself, “who's flying the plane?”
It's clear our hero is comfortable with his equipment, which is a really good thing when you consider just how dangerous such a complex piece of machinery is. Our military men and women have to literally trust their lives in these flying contraptions, with complete faith that the intricate dynamics of technology will work together as one harmonious balanced system, and mostly without you having to think about it. After all, you have other things to do, like test the laws of physics, or drink a tall, cool glass of water. Let's hope his boss is OK with it.