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Alien Balloons

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.

 

Puzzle ID:#5619
Fun:*** (2.77)
Difficulty:** (1.91)
Category:Science
Submitted By:im_para_noid*****
Corrected By:adam

 

 

 



Aliens have inflated two identical balloons, but one is inflated more than the other. You have the option of being inside the smaller balloon or the larger balloon. Once inside, your captors will join the two balloons by a short length of tubing. Then they will let the air flow freely between the balloons. Does the smaller balloon expand as the larger one shrinks? You have to make the right choice, because, alas, you have claustrophobia and therefore want to choose the balloon that will eventually give you the most room for movement. Which balloon do you choose?


Answer

Choose the larger one, which will get even larger. If you choose the smaller balloon, it will shrink until it completely engulfs you. The smaller balloon has greater elastic force, and will exert a greater inward force. It has greater internal pressure, which is why it is initially more difficult to inflate a balloon than when it has already started expanding.
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