Fun with Physics, the simplest steam engine.
Posted: 01 April 2017 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  2327
Joined  2016-12-24

I like black tea with lemon and brown sugar.
I like hot black tea, thus when I drop the tea bag into the very hot water
I place a saucer onto the cup to hold in the steam.
That way after lemon and sugar and stirring it’s still a nice hot cup of strong black tea.

Usually I simply place the saucer right side up, today for whatever reason I flipped the saucer upside down onto the cup
for the minutes I let it steep.

I go off to deal with something else, then start hearing this weird tapping noise. 
It takes a moment but I get back to the cup soon enough to see it in action.

It’s still hot enough to see the glass saucer pop up a fraction of an inch, to allow the built up steam pressure to escape, then smack it drops back to the rim.  By now my gal breaks my trance, asking: what’s that noise.

“It’s the world’s simplest steam engine honey - I just made James Watts’ childhood discovery.
As they say chance favors the prepared mind.

My lesson, when I place the saucer right side up there’s no seal, the steam escapes.
Placing the saucer upside down creates an anticline that traps steam
and creates a flexible seal
even as the lid raises a couple fractions before finally breaking the molecular bonding
and escaping.

Fascinating stuff all around me, rediscovering old discoveries is the spice of life. 

[ Edited: 01 April 2017 10:50 AM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]