Get Your Science On: Atmospheric Bear Hug

This experiment is all about atmospheric pressure. The weight of the atmosphere above us pushes us in every direction. The force is surprisingly large: 100,000 N/m^2 or nearly 15 pounds per square inch (psi) at sea level.

A plastic bag is connected to a vacuum pump. Initially the air inside the bag pushes out with the same force as the air outside of the bag pushing in. However, when the air is pumped out of the bag there is nothing to counteract the atmosphere squeezing the bag against the bear.

This video features Eva Asheela, a teacher with the Education Ministry in Namibia. This partnership has been made possible by the generous support of B2Gold Namibia. More details about the Little Shop of Physics B2Gold Partnership can be found here.