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Science Project: Tough Newspaper Viewed: 2961
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Tough Newspaper

Your strongest blow cannot budge this fearless newspaper!

You need:

  • a newspaper
  • a table
  • a wooden ruler, or piece of scrap wood

What to do:

Place a ruler on a table so that an inch or two (3-5 cm) projects over the edge. Spread a double sheet of newspaper over the ruler so that the paper lies flat along the table edge. Strike the projecting edge of the ruler as hard as you can.

What happens:

The newspaper doesn't budge.

Why:

It is air pressure on the paper that prevents it from moving. Air pushes down with almost 15 pounds of pressure on every square inch of surface (1 kg per square centimeter). For an average sheet of newspaper, the total resistance is about two tons.