4C31.30 - Drinking Bird - Relaxation Oscillators

Credit: Paul Noth
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Drinking Bird - Relaxation Oscillators
Vapor Pressures/Partial Pressures
Area of Study:
Heat & Fluids
Drinking Bird.

Video Credit: Jonathan M. Sullivan-Wood.

Wet the head part of the drinking bird.  The evaporation of the water from the head will cause the liquid to rise to the top for about 1 hour without additional wetting.

NOTE: Take care that the large drinking bird does not fall off the glass stand.  This is particularly important if the bird is not on a level area.

The drinking is also an example of a relaxation oscillator.

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  • Stuart E. Leinoff, "Keeping a Cool Head", TPT, Vol. 31, #5, May 1993, p. 263. 
  • Robert Mentzer, "The Drinking Bird - The Little Heat Engine That Could", TPT, Vol. 31, #2, Feb. 1993, p. 126.
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  • Jearl Walker, "4.62, Dunking Bird", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 203.
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