Video Previews of the Vortex

These are very short: only 5 seconds long. If you don't know how to play them, see the instructions at the bottom of the page.

This video shows how to start the vortex going: by swirling the bottle top, then stopping suddenly.

This video shows how the vortex looks once it's going.

Here are two flash animations I made to show why the bits of plastic seem to speed up as they reach the thin bottom of the vortex. The first is a series or sphears constructed to form a vortex to get people thinking about the mystery. The second is an attempt to get people thinking about how they define "speed." Is it miles (or kilometers) per hour, or is it revolutions per minute?


Go to the Vortex introduction page.

Back to the Science Toy Maker homepage.

If you have a fast internet connection, you should be able to simply point and click to play the short MPEG movie. If the picture is halting the first time through, click play on your media player and it ought to play smoothly the second time.

You will almost certainly have to hit play a second time if you have a dial-up internet connection. If you still can't get it to run smoothly, you will have to right-click, then "save file as..." or something similar to that. Take note of where you are saving it. They are short and highly compressed, so they won't take long to load. Even with a fast connection, save the file like that if the picture is jerky. To play the file, find it and double-click on it. It will play in the default media player.