• Question: if you have a bucket of water and you spin it round really fast why doesn't the water spill out?

    Asked by 1drawsome to Daphne, Darren, Jon, Katherine on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Darren Logan

      Darren Logan answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Its due to the centripedal force of the bucket.

      As you spin the bucket around, you are actually pulling it sharply downwards while it is over your head (otherwise it would go shooting off into the air). At the same time, the water is being pulled downwards by gravity. But if you are pulling the bucket downwards faster than the water is being pulled down by gravity, the bucket “catches up” with the water. The effect of this means the water will get “left behind” towards the base of the bucket and so, stay inside and not fall out.