# Balloons and Polygons

1. Jun 12, 2012

### sebassen

Hi everyone, I've been thinking about these questions and would like to know if you can come up with their answers:

1. if you attach prisms to a balloon and inflate it, will the prisms make it impossible to keep inflating it at some time? Talking about "formulas", why?

2. why do grounds made with prisms ("polygonal granoblastic texture") have less superficial tension than any other ground?

Thx a lot,

Sebassen

2. Jun 13, 2012

### Simon Bridge

1. depends on the prisms and how they are attached.
2. because they have more meaningful tensions and, being quite serious structures, cannot be bothered with anything superficial. The resulting coffee is no help.
... this is why you need to provide a context for your questions.

3. Jun 13, 2012

### sebassen

1. the prisms have hexagonal base and are glued to the balloon. Then, as you inflate the balloon, they assemble.
2. xD
I'm trying to understand basalt columns, whether they are hexagonal for allowing expansion or whaat

4. Jun 14, 2012

### Simon Bridge

Well hexagons tessellate to a flat surface.
Can you provide an example?

Of course if you inflate a balloon inside a structure designed to become rigid at some point in the inflation then of course that would restrict the amount the balloon can inflate. Like I could cover it in interlocking steel plates.

"Superficial tension" would be surface tension to everyone else right?
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/surten.html

Basalt column like at Giant's Causway are not predominantly hexagonal - go look at some. The mean number of sides is, indeed, six - but when you look at them and walk over them the "hexagonalness" is not particularly striking.
[see: D. Weaire and N. Rivier. Contemporary Physics 25 1 (1984), pp. 55-99]

More accessible discussion:
http://giantcrystals.strahlen.org/europe/basalt.htm