Clever Father Turns The Kiddie Pool Into A Science Project

Mar 25, 2016

I will proudly go on the record and declare myself a nerd. I could get lost for hours reading the latest science and tech articles, I've loved comic books and superheroes long before blockbuster movies made them cool, and I've spent way too many hours as a kid playing computer games (again, before it was cool to be a gamer). 

A lot of my fascination with the science end of things came as a kid, because I had awesome science teachers who always showed how a scientific principle works via actual experiments. When we learned about light in 6th grade, we actually made pinhole cameras of our own. When we learned about distillation and evaporation, we distilled our own fresh water from salt water. These kinds of lessons stick with you, and they made a huge impression on me: science is seriously fun!

I was also lucky that my dad was a science-y, very hands-on kinda guy too, so we did plenty of experiments at home as well. One thing that dear old dad didn't show me, however, was how to make waves in a pool (probably because we never had a pool). This dad, however, does have a pool and so he decided to show his kids the principle of "constructive wave interference" using the kiddie pool in their yard and a styrofoam board.

Constructive wave interference is basically just what happens when two waves with the same direction of displacement collide into each other. Generally speaking, the amplitudes of the two waves combine to form a large spike during the collision/interference, before continuing on their separate ways.

This is why there is such a large splash in the center of the pool, twice as high as the waves that collided to form it.

H/T: Punchy8484

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