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Suction

Who doesn’t like sipping chilled drinks during the hot summers? Sipping with a straw makes it even easier! All you need to do is put your lips on the straw, suck in the air, and there you have the drink in your mouth. Yummy!

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Do you know that sucking through a straw involves a scientific mechanism? Do you know what it is called?

It is called as “Suction”. Suction is the process of removing air, water, etc., from a space to pull something (gas, liquid, etc.) into it. What you get after completely or incompletely removing matter from a space is called as ‘vacuum’ or ‘partial vacuum’ respectively.

So, while you are sipping through a straw to enjoy your lemonade, you are using suction. Also, when you feel an irritation in your eyes, and your mom puts eye drops using a dropper, you are using suction. When you use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from your carpets, you are using suction. In fact, the tool called plunger, that your plumber uses to clear your drain pipes of all blockages is an example of suction!

Such an easy mechanism with so many uses! Let’s see how suction works in some of the things around us.

Droppers

When you press the dropper cap, all the air inside the tube rushes out. When you release the pressure from the cap, the liquid in which you had immersed the dropper tube, rushes inside.

girl putting eye drops using eye dropper

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Fountain Pens

Fountain Pens use exactly the same mechanism as your droppers. When the ink bag of the fountain pen is pressed, a partial vacuum is created. When released, the ink bag sucks in all the ink from the ink pot.

Photo Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net

Milking Pumps

Milking pumps are used these days to get milk from the cows.  In most of the places around the world, milking pumps are used to milk cows instead of using the hands as it was done earlier.

Vacuum Cleaners

The working of a vacuum cleaner is obviously more complicated. However, to put in simple terms, when you switch on a vacuum cleaner, the fans inside it rotate. The rotating blades create a partial vacuum inside, due to which the dust particles get sucked in.

cleaning lady with vacuum cleaner in hotel lobby

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Suction Cups

Suction cups or suckers are commonly used office and household items. We use them as hooks or holders, which can be simply attached to your walls, tiles or any non-porous surface. Animals like squids and octopuses have natural suction cups on their tentacles which help them to cling to things and grasp their prey easily.

Suction Devices in Hospitals

Suction Devices are commonly used in the medical field. When the surgeons operate, the blood or plasma in our body covers the organs which are getting operated. This makes operating a very difficult task. Suction devices draw the excess fluid from operating areas and keep the operative field free.

Injections are used to take blood samples or give vaccination

boy receiving vaccine via injection

Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net

Dentists use a suction pipe to continuously suck water from your mouth, while they clean your teeth. Make sure you notice this, and ask your dentist about it on your next dental visit.

A Little History

In 1656, the mayor of Madgeburg, Otto von Guericke, produced the world’s first vacuum pump. This pump was inspired by the ‘artificial vacuum’ produced by Evangelista Toricelli, an Italian physicist and famous inventor of Barometer (an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure).

 

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