# Highest one could suck a drink up this straw?

• ricky882
In summary, the maximum height one could suck a drink up a straw with superhuman lungs is approximately 10.3 meters, due to the limited ability of the diaphragm to develop vacuum pressure. This is because the pressure of the atmosphere, which can only support a column of mercury about 76 cm long at sea level, is what pushes the drink up the straw.
ricky882
given a very long straw, and very strong lungs(superhuman ones), what is the highest one could suck a drink up this straw?

Human lungs can develop a vacuum of about 20 inH2O, IIRC. (that means the absolute pressure is about 380 inH2O). that also means you can't be more than 20 inches underwater if you want to breathe through a straw.

It's possible to develop more suction with your mouth, but in terms of the diaphragm, the ability to develop vacuum pressure is very limited.

Andy Resnick said:
Human lungs can develop a vacuum of about 20 inH2O, IIRC. (that means the absolute pressure is about 380 inH2O). that also means you can't be more than 20 inches underwater if you want to breathe through a straw.

It's possible to develop more suction with your mouth, but in terms of the diaphragm, the ability to develop vacuum pressure is very limited.

Good explanation
thanks

ricky882 said:
given a very long straw, and very strong lungs(superhuman ones), what is the highest one could suck a drink up this straw?

It is the pressure of the atmosphere that pushes the drink up the straw.At sea level the average pressure of the atmosphere is such that it can support a column of mercury about 76 cm long.For a water based drink the greatest height would be about 10.3 metres.

I would first like to clarify that the term "suck" in this context is not scientifically accurate. Sucking is actually the result of atmospheric pressure pushing liquid into a lower pressure area, not the exertion of force through the mouth. Therefore, the maximum height that a drink can be drawn up a straw is not determined by the strength of one's lungs, but rather by the balance between atmospheric pressure and the weight of the liquid.

With that being said, assuming we have a very long straw and superhuman lungs, the maximum height that a drink can be drawn up the straw would depend on several factors such as the density and viscosity of the liquid, the diameter and length of the straw, and the altitude of the location. However, in a controlled environment with standard atmospheric pressure and a liquid with average density and viscosity, it is theoretically possible to draw the liquid up the straw to a height of approximately 10 meters.

This is because the weight of the liquid in the straw would create a column of liquid with a downward force that is balanced by the upward force of atmospheric pressure. As the height of the column increases, the weight of the liquid also increases, eventually reaching a point where the upward force of atmospheric pressure can no longer support it. This is known as the maximum height limit for liquid columns, which is approximately 10 meters for water at sea level.

In conclusion, while the strength of one's lungs may not directly determine the maximum height that a drink can be drawn up a straw, it can certainly affect the speed and efficiency at which the liquid is drawn up. Other factors such as the ones mentioned above also play a significant role in determining the maximum height that can be achieved.

## 1. How does the diameter of the straw affect the highest point at which a drink can be sucked up?

The diameter of the straw does not have a significant impact on the highest point at which a drink can be sucked up. As long as the straw is wide enough to allow air to flow through it, the height at which a drink can be sucked up will be determined by other factors such as air pressure and the strength of the suck.

## 2. Can the type of drink affect the highest point at which it can be sucked up through a straw?

Yes, the type of drink can affect the highest point at which it can be sucked up through a straw. For example, liquids with a higher viscosity, such as honey or syrup, will require more force to be sucked up through a straw and may have a lower maximum height compared to a more watery liquid like water or juice.

## 3. Is there a limit to how high a drink can be sucked up through a straw?

Yes, there is a limit to how high a drink can be sucked up through a straw. This limit is determined by the maximum suction pressure that can be created by a person's mouth, which is typically around 1 atmosphere or 14.7 pounds per square inch. Any drink that requires more force to be sucked up will not be able to reach as high of a point through a straw.

## 4. Can the length of the straw affect the highest point at which a drink can be sucked up?

Yes, the length of the straw can affect the highest point at which a drink can be sucked up. The longer the straw, the more force is needed to suck the drink up due to the increased pressure difference between the top and bottom of the straw. However, for most practical lengths, the difference in maximum height is negligible.

## 5. Does the temperature of the drink affect the highest point at which it can be sucked up through a straw?

Yes, the temperature of the drink can affect the highest point at which it can be sucked up through a straw. Cold drinks tend to have slightly higher maximum heights compared to warm drinks due to the decrease in air pressure caused by the cooling of the air inside the straw. However, this difference is very small and may not be noticeable in most cases.

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