BRAIN TEASER: A wine cork is placed into a full glass of water. The cork will not stay centered and will always float to one side of the glass (Fig. 1). How can one make the cork stay centered without touching any of it?
SECRET: Fill the glass with more water until it almost brims over. I will typically use another glass of water to pour more in until it almost overflows. If the water does overflow, then it will still work. The surface tension will pull the cork to the center of the glass of water just like a magnet (Fig. 2).
This is really amazing to behold. I think you’ll have a hard time resisting the urge to do this when you have a couple of glasses of water and a wine cork handy. The one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I can resist everything but temptation.
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