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Cork in a Glass

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

 

Puzzle ID:#5737
Fun:*** (3.01)
Difficulty:*** (2.28)
Category:Science
Submitted By:Bobbrt*****

 

 

 



If a cork is put into a glass of water, the cork will almost always drift to the side of the glass. There is one simple way, however, to get the cork to float in the center of the glass (the horizontal center, not the vertical). What is it? Water, the glass, and the cork are all that is required.


Answer

The reason that a cork drifts to the side of a glass is that it floats to the highest point. Since water "clings" to the glass, the highest point is around the edge of the water. To get the cork to float in the middle of the glass, all you have to do is fill the glass as much as possible. The water will form a convex shape above the glass, with the highest point at its center. This is where the cork will settle.
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