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Paint thinner, oil, and water in a jar

  1. Nov 6, 2004 #1
    If I was to put paint thinner, oil, and water in a jar (individually..not together)...and then stirred, which one would have the biggest vortex (depth)? I know I can do it, and I will for the other two, but dont have paint thinner.

    and what type of intermolecular bonding is present in each of the liquids used in the experiment?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2004 #2


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    I dont know about any bonding or anything, but the size of the vortex would depend of how long and how hard/fast you stir it, and the liquid you are stirring.

    the liquid will have inertia and will want to keep on going around and around in circles, but the thicker the liquid and the less viscus, the faster it will slow down and stop itself. so, i would have to say that the thinest of the liquids will have the vortex of the greatest depth because you will be able to get the liquid going and keep it going faster around in a circle in the bottle for longer, so the vortex will remain deaper and longer, then it would if you were to stir something thick, like caremel or something like that.

    that is just my way of thinking of it, maybe there is some chemical property that applies, I dont know, but this explanation seems to make sense to me.
  4. Nov 7, 2004 #3


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    As mrjeffy321 explained it too, I think it has something to do with viscosity. The less the viscosity of the liquid, the faster the whirlpool (vortex) will be. This is my reasoning, and it may be useful if you look for viscosity comparisons of these three liquids.

    Viscosity is briefly the friction of liquid layers, and if it is higher, the liquid is said to be more viscous. So I don't think that it involves much of molecular-level bonding, but somewhat physical attributes like friction is more likely to be the reason for it.
  5. Nov 7, 2004 #4
    Density would be determinant too, donĀ“t forget that hidrostatic pressure=density*g*h

    Viscosity is a direct macroscopic consequence of intermolecular interactions. Remember for example that viscosymetric measures are used in polymers to experimentally obtain molecular mass averages.
  6. Nov 12, 2004 #5
    Yes. I understand all of that.

    Of course we have to stir it at the same speed or else the results will not be very accurate.

    Obviously water would be the easiest to stir, but then I dont know if it be oil or paint thinner, since I dont have paint thinner. So, that was my question.
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