Hydrodynamic Levitation!

On a stream of water you can levitate light balls of all sizes and even disks and cylinders. The mechanism is not the Bernoulli effect…
Want to make this at home:

My friend Blake from InnoVinci emailed me with a cool idea for a video and footage of levitating balls in water streams. Initially it was tough to explain the physics of what was going on. The standard Bernoulli effect relies on the object being completely immersed in the upward-flowing fluid. But in this case the water seems to form a single stream around the object and it’s deflected away and down from the stream. By Newton’s third law, the force on the water by the ball is equal and opposite to the force of the water back on the ball, pushing it up into the stream. There is a stable equilibrium position because if the ball moves into the stream, it “cuts off” the water going over the ball so it drifts out. If it drifts out too far, then lots of water passes over the ball, pushing it back into the stream.

Special thanks to Patreon Supporters:
Tony Fadell, Donal Botkin, Jeff Straathof, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal, Nathan Hansen

Support Veritasium on Patreon:

Filmed by Raquel Nuno
Slow motion by Hollywood Special Ops

Music from Epidemic Sound “Colored Spirals 3” “Magnified X 3” “In Orbit 2” “ExperiMental 1”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *