1J30.70 - Rice in a Tube

See procedure
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Rice in a Tube
Vector Addition of Forces
Area of Study:
Pop bottle, rice, pointed wooden dowel, tissue paper, rubber bands, and cardboard tubes.

Fill the pop bottle to the very top with rice.  Plunge the wooden dowel into the pop bottle without turning.  The  pressure exerted on the dowel by the rice should be enough that you can lift the pop bottle off of the table with the wooden dowel.  Twisting the dowel will release it so that you can remove it from the pop bottle.

Cover one end of the cardboard tube with a section of tissue paper and hold in place with a rubber band.  Fill the tube with rice.  No matter how hard you push on top of the rice with your finger you cannot exert enough pressure to break the tissue paper at the bottom of the tube.

  • Piotr Habdas, Eric R. Weeks, and David G. Lynn, "Squishy Materials", TPT, Vol. 44, # 5, May 2006, p. 276.
  • Martin Gardner,  "Physics Trick of the Month - The Unbroken Tissue",  TPT, Vol. 39, # 7, p. 435, Oct. 2001.
  • Martin Gardner,  "Physics Trick of the Month - Suspended Bottle",  TPT, Vol. 39, # 4, p. 254, April 2001.
  • F- 070,  "Lifting Rice with Screwdriver",  DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • Martin Gardner, "20, The Unbroken Tissue", Smart Science Tricks, p. 35.
  • Martin Gardner, "23, The Suspended Bottle", Smart Science Tricks, p. 39.
  • Martin Gardner, "Suspended Rice", Entertaining Science Experiments with Everyday Objects, p. 95.
  • Vicki Cobb and Kathy Darling, "Fakir Fakeout", Bet You Can!, p. 90.
  • Vicki Cobb and Kathy Darling, "Strong Arm Tactics", Bet You Can!, p. 84.
  • Jearl Walker, "2.125, Lifting Rice With a Rod", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 136.
  • Tik L. Liem, "The Sticky Knife", Invitations to Science Inquiry - Supplement to 1st and 2nd Ed. p. 120.

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