Newton’s third law

In our science we are learning about famous scientists. This week we looked at Sir Isaac Newton and his discovery of gravity and his laws of motion. We focused on his third law – for every action (force) there is an opposite and equal reaction.

We investigated this by dropping an effervescing tablet into a small canister partly filled with water and put the lid on, placing the canister with the lid on the floor.

What happened next was amazing to watch. As the tablet fizzed, carbon dioxide was released inside the canister. Pressure from the gas built up and eventually the lid popped off. This caused the canister to fly into the air like a rocket.

We repeated the investigation with different amounts of water, hot water instead of cold and different quantities of the tablet to see if it would go any higher or launch quicker.


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