When Veritasium gets it Wrong! - Trial by EXPERIMENT!

Veritasiums explanation for the deflection of water bugged me.

A week or so of experimenting later, I had a simple, reproducible experiment that demonstrated that their explanation was wrong.

The concept is simple. According to Veritasium, positive ions come out in the water, while negative ones are withheld. This means that in an electrically isolated system, the first water out should be positive, while the reservoir at the top becomes increasingly negatively charged. However ultimately that water must come out too, and when it does, it should be strongly repelled by the charged object. In reality, that doesnt happen, indeed if anything its more strongly attracted, although this is probably due to the last water out moving more slowly. Either way its a pretty clear experiment for showing that the ions do not move back up into the tap as Veritasium suggests.

Stunningly there is actually some quite recent stuff on this in the literature (last 10 yrs or so), although Im not so sure I believe any of it.

Y'see showing something to be wrong is usually just the first stage in science.... you then gotta show you know whats going on by proposing a model that works.
In the week or two of experimenting I did, I got enough clear results to show everything is wrong! I have no coherent explanation that merely explains the obtained results, let alone one that can be used to predict unknowns.

FYI, the cones at the end are called Taylor cones and are the core of electrospray which got someone a Nobel Prize in chemistry!
Kinda makes it even more weird that its so hard to come up with a fully coherent explanation of why a stream of water is deflected by a charged object.

-Simple things don't always have simple explanations!

Kelvin dropper has to be seen to be believed!

Veritasiums video

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Uploaded by: Thunderf00t

Views: 393895
Added: 2 years ago
Runtime: 8:54
Comments: 1786

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what else is onwhat else is on (23 hours ago)
That's not the only video in which Derek attempts to replace others' misconceptions with his own. That's why I got sick of watching his stuff. I'm just discovering your channel though and I can't fault your accuracy or logic at all so far. You can have my cancelled Veritasium subscription.

Silver NightSilver Night (9 days ago)
Didn't he say that "some" of the water would go back up into the original container. Couldn't some of the water fly off the other way?

PhtevePhteve (9 days ago)
He's on Bill Nye's show.
Bill Nye's show is on Netflix.
Netflix has 7 letter.
_______ ---> N-O-T-R-E-A-L is also seven letters.

Therefore, not a real scientist.

TRUMP 2020

The KavemanThe Kaveman (10 days ago)
More to be done on this

U.N. OwenU.N. Owen (19 days ago)
+Thunderf00t: Again, I don't know WHO these people are, but, I'm pretty certain Veratasium, is pronounced 'VER+uh+TAY+ZEE+um, NOT 'VER+uh+TAYT+EE++um' (where are you getting that 2nd 't' from? There IS NONE)

Erlend EllingsenErlend Ellingsen (19 days ago)
Uhm... Veritasium is actually correct. Do this with larger objects over larger amount of time, and touch the pipe... you will get a small electric shock. Obviously this does not happen if you have an plastic pipe.

When I've been doing sports, I somehow often gets electrically charged (like the cup). When i first enter the shower its all fine and i can touch the metal piping, but after a min or so i get small but unpleasant electrical shock when I touch the piping.

Joost RingootJoost Ringoot (20 days ago)
An explanation that is in my opinion consistent with both your experiments and the experiments of veritassium, is this:
Water is an equilibrium of ions.
The negative object attracts the positive ions and repulses the negative ions. Some negative ions escape via the drops at the bottom and some dispose their charge at the conductive metal tap of veritassiums experiment, some just stay at the tap.
The result is a slightly positively charged waterbeam that is sufficiently charged to pull the water towards the negatively charged object.

pedzsanpedzsan (21 day ago)
I like you method of presenting your experiments with a healthy dose of self doubt.

vicky meyervicky meyer (1 month ago)
Junior intellectual root drawing characterize may spin judgment.

Artem ZhuravskiArtem Zhuravski (1 month ago)
Well he is kinda wrong not totaly

Ben SnashBen Snash (1 month ago)
Perhaps when veritasium said that the polar nature of water would only cause it to flip and not move because there would be equal attraction and repulsion is wrong, perhaps since the molecule's positive side is turned towards the cup it means as its close to the cup than the negative side the attraction force would be marginally greater than the repulsion force. Intuition tells me that it wouldn't produce enough of a difference to cause that much change in the flow but it's a thought

Crooks and CraftsCrooks and Crafts (1 month ago)
+Thunderf00t If the stream of water is indeed neutral, then shouldn't it be attracted by either positive or negatively charged objects? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Veritasium's video show that one charge repelled the water, while the other attracted it? If so, then how could the stream be neutral?

Jelle BootsmaJelle Bootsma (1 month ago)
At least have the respect to pronounce his name correctly...

Auke MebelAuke Mebel (1 month ago)
Why don't you go away from all the stuff to do with Ion's and try it with de_Ionized water and see if it works with that.

Guy StokesGuy Stokes (1 month ago)
if you did kelvins experiment with a molten metal say, and let it cool before the spark gap quenches, should it not be creating a type of mono poled magnet if Kelvin is correct in what is going on? or am I wrong to think that would be the case?

Hiccup ZainHiccup Zain (1 month ago)
when I watched Veritasoum video I honestly wanted him to perform the same experiment hut with distilled water (because it has less to no ions dissolved) But he didn't

So plz can you do a distilled water test, it will be pretty strong evidence

Clorox BleachClorox Bleach (1 month ago)
That faucet is metal... Yours is some plastic, would that have anything to do with it?

Steven BaalSteven Baal (1 month ago)
Another version would be to use distilled water which should not deflect at all, due to no ions if V was right. This would have been easy with the apparatus used.

Oggy Oggy AKA British MappingOggy Oggy AKA British Mapping (1 month ago)
The video showed a cool experiment, why would we need to know how it would work or why it would work?With this principle we could make machines that could even be useful for us!

猫我蜜糖猫我蜜糖 (1 month ago)
Vsauce and Veritasiums.. not that good most of the time. But they have a great image in a lot of people's eyes, just not mine.

casey obriencasey obrien (1 month ago)
The mic on your camera is better than the one you are using for most of the vid

TiagoTiagoTiagoTiago (1 month ago)
How about testing the effects of high voltage DC fields on water to get a clearer effect?

Scott WilliamsScott Williams (1 month ago)
No veritasium was right, if you used deionised water then there would be no deflection

seasongseasong (1 month ago)
So it works with destilled water?

Franco BuzzettiFranco Buzzetti (1 month ago)
can you expand on this like you didnt with coulomb explosions? thank you for science!

Maximillion ThermidorMaximillion Thermidor (1 month ago)
To be fair an engineering pleb like me would see no problem with this theory. Apply an electric feild and get an electric charge. From that feild we also get a perpendicular magnetic feild, which would attract the positively charged water. However given this doesn't hold up in reality I would be interested to see actual tests done. Perhaps use an inductor instead of a balloon to retry the experiment.

However I prefer your methodology with the Kelvin dropper.

The Mad HatterThe Mad Hatter (1 month ago)
I think I know why the water droplets tend to move away when they fall. Imagine if you have a pendulum, if you push it one way and let it go, the pendulum doesn't immidiately stop in the center, it keeps moving till it gradually stops in the center. Likewise, the water is kind of acting like a pendulum in that it doesn't​ flow in the center when you move the balloon away.

Fazal FarizFazal Fariz (1 month ago)
So, does a magnet make the water stream bend?

b manb man (1 month ago)
So the more overal positive charged water molecules are pulled or favored first leaving more overall negatively charged water molecs for the end?

Eugene ArabadzhiEugene Arabadzhi (1 month ago)
He just veritasiumed veritasium

Davide Riccardo GabrielliDavide Riccardo Gabrielli (1 month ago)
Thunderf00t try that in vacuum

John DoeJohn Doe (1 month ago)
This system is such a great example of how you end up with non-linear effects when dealing with realistic systems, and how all the nice approximations physicists use break down.

1.) Liquid water is a conductor, but it is not close to an 'ideal' or perfect conductor. As a result ions re-arrange themselves to maintain as low of a potential as they can possibly achieve. If there were an infinite amount of ions (or a very large number of positively and negatively charged ones), then the water would attempt to maintain a zero potential. Unlike a perfect conductor the ions in water are not smeared over the surface of the water, although they are still localized.

2.) The water itself is a fluid, and is moving in response to gravity and the electromagnetic field itself. This is not at all what you deal with with ideal fixed conductors. This results in a two way non-linear coupling ; the electromagnetic field changes the shape of the waters surface and changes it's movement. The changes in the shape of the waters surface and it's movement result in changes in ionic concentrations, resulting in changes in the electromagnetic field. This makes it a difficult problem mathematically.

3.) In addition, you have the fact that the surface charge on the balloon may rearrange itself in response to the electromagnetic field of the induced surface charge of the water. So there's that. That adds another layer of coupling here.

Brian StevensBrian Stevens (1 month ago)
this has probablt been worked out by now but the water moving thru a tube may be gaining charge just like an aluminium skin on a truck moving through air unles this effect is counted up and negated experiment is inconclusive

jonas duelljonas duell (1 month ago)
If Veritasium was right, distilled water would not react to external charges...

oooBASTIooooooBASTIooo (1 month ago)
Wouldn't the natural way to check this is to simply use distilled water and see whether it gets attracted or not?

Mecca MilesMecca Miles (1 month ago)
Wouldn't a better falsification experiment consist of the use of deionized water? -Veritasium's claim is that it is not the polarized water bringing about the observed effect, but rather, the ions coming out of the tap; therefore, to prove his hypothesis wrong, simply use deionized water where the only variable is the water itself and, concordantly, the water molecule's electric-dipole.

Also, it's worth mentioning that simple logic can falsify his claim. If the electric dipole is not the cause of the deflection of the stream of water, but rather, the dissolved ions in the stream coming out of the tap, then the ions will not affect the water in the presence of a charged object, such as the cup, because the errant tap-water ions only act as a sort-of electric middleman between the water and the charged cup.

That said, great video. Thanks for sharing.

Tom DavidsonTom Davidson (1 month ago)
For throughness the experiment should be repeated using (A) Conductivity Water, and (B) a non-ionic polar solvent such as ethanol.

Retro .SpektaRetro .Spekta (1 month ago)
What if you had 2 girls holding that 1 cup?

Solder JoeSolder Joe (1 month ago)
Revisit this now that you have the high speed camera. Might answer some questions. Isn't there a way of reading the charge on the outside of the tube as the water flows? Maybe a feather with a background gauge. Does the charge change on the drain when you introduce the balloon? That would tell you at least there is something different between drops and a stream and introducing the static charge.

Austito RAustito R (1 month ago)
slanderous and i love it

Alwin PrivenAlwin Priven (1 month ago)
How about taking distilled water and testing if it's attracted to the balloon/cup?

DreadX10DreadX10 (2 months ago)
H2O, such a simple molecule, until you actually try to understand it's behaviour.

Ethan LabunEthan Labun (2 months ago)
Wow thunder foot
Have you ever tried getting views by other means besides criticism and spreading gloom
I feel what you do is pathetic just going around dissing people who are more successful than you
Try making the world a better place
E.g build something amazing like idk a hyperloop oh wait your too dumb so instead you say hate about people who know what their doing

Sentient PotatoSentient Potato (2 months ago)
Thunderf00t, the most cynical scientist on YouTube. I love it.

rosselurrosselur (2 months ago)
what in the fuck gnome kind of shotglass holds 25 ml of liquid?

Alexander SannikovAlexander Sannikov (2 months ago)
It is such a good feeling when you're first defying an effect that makes Kelvin water dropper work, my hands are just itching to write a comment about that and then you do actually talk about that as well and in the end you do prove that this effect can be shown when droplets form. My only complain is that in your veritassium video you said that ions move slowly in water: well, duh, electrons' directional movement in metals is pretty slow as well but because there's so many of them they still might form a considerable electrical current.

Dom VastaDom Vasta (2 months ago)
Did we ever figure this one out?

Tigrou7777Tigrou7777 (2 months ago)
You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round...

JonnkiJonnki (2 months ago)

gonnabeadoctorsoon2gonnabeadoctorsoon2 (2 months ago)
Needs less fake science or possibly someone with an actual science education. Issue #1: You are not using enough water to disprove this theory. #2: You are moving the balloons closer at the end of your "experiment". #3: Vertasium did not say ions, he says charge. You, in your very poor understanding of science, jumped to and made that conclusion. Again, please stop making bad science videos for your own ego. Your false information and poor scientific principle cause as much damage to science and people as anti vaxxers and flat earthers.

signalamplifiersignalamplifier (2 months ago)
much more convincing would be an experiment with the double distilled water.

RemusRemus (2 months ago)
Next please do Vsauce.

Techo536Techo536 (2 months ago)
You're videos are well put together and make sense. Have you ever considered becoming less negative and, instead of only proving stuff doesn't work or is incorrect, coming up with solutions or alternative explanations? I read the description but this idea that just rebuffing an idea and being done with it is all pretty pseudoscience - very few studies just say something is incorrect and don't provide an alternative explanation. I think you should work on providing a more positive side to your channel - your negativity gets on my nerves because it's all your channel consists of!

Joseph A. MunizJoseph A. Muniz (2 months ago)
Lol. Tnunderf00t can be an ass at times. However, that's one of the reasons I enjoy this channel. I love Veritasium channel too. If ever I had to choose which I'd rather have a beer with, I'd likely choose to have a drink and conversation with Veritasium... Only because Thunderf00t would likely sit trying to find rebuttals to everything I'd say. lol. I have a great level of respect for both channels.

JoeJoe (2 months ago)
I think there is an issue with relative reference frame here. 0.02. Both great channels.

Russia Did ItRussia Did It (2 months ago)
i think im tto stupid for this

Jesse GardnerJesse Gardner (2 months ago)
what the fuck?! it's this guy an idiot? thanks thunderf00t.

Tyson RomaniukTyson Romaniuk (2 months ago)
i thought it was charge sperations. same reason a balloon sticks to a wall

Jakob vucelic-frickJakob vucelic-frick (2 months ago)
mind blowing stuff

DarieeeDarieee (2 months ago)
Sweet !

Grae HallGrae Hall (2 months ago)
Ahh, checking out Thunderf00t's channel, for actual science. It takes me back to the early days of youtube. God damn, such a fuckin' nostalgia hit right now. I hadn't checked up on this channel in quite some time. When it started focusing more on culture and ideology I just ... drifted off. But damn, proper trip down memory lane, jesus, this was one of the first youtube science channels to which I subscribed, and from which I learned, and learned so much and that's getting close to a decade ago. This was my introduction to youtube science education. Nostalgia FTW :)

doggonemessdoggonemess (3 months ago)
4:02 Great, now I have to pee.

Myke PriorMyke Prior (3 months ago)
Thank you for disproving this infotainment twat.
1x10^-7 moles/L of positive charges......yeah that won't deflect shit. It's dipoles, can do the same thing with acetone, but not gasoline.
If that actually happened, you should be getting zapped by your sink every once and a while....this is super well known and not any mystery realm of science.

Wolf EdmundsWolf Edmunds (3 months ago)
Being wrong in science is better than being right.
It's much better to spend more time and develop a better theory than hastily believing an incomplete one, which will no doubt come back to bite you in the ass much later.
Thunderf00t might not be the right one either, so stop arguing about who's right and who's wrong. More papers needed.

JYeltonJYelton (3 months ago)
I appreciate the power of peer review, and am glad to see Derek (Veritasium) post a comment. However, the tone in the beginning of the video seems to be unnecessarily condescending.

Weslin CamdenWeslin Camden (3 months ago)
So does the polarity of the water molecule have no influence on the attraction then? Or is the polarity of water exactly why there is induced charge in the stream in the first place?

Beaujangles McJiggleBeaujangles McJiggle (4 months ago)

Mr MürkMr Mürk (4 months ago)
now try it with something like heptane

RoonyKingXLRoonyKingXL (4 months ago)
Guys, explain to me, why you downvote this video please.

He creates a experiment to disprove a scientific hypothesis. He's essentially doing science. So what's wrong?

QeeetQeeet (4 months ago)
What music is at the end?

John ReedJohn Reed (4 months ago)
Could you run this experiment again, but with a restricted flow rate so the stream becomes droplets closer to the glass tube. This would result in the water having a lower velocity when passing the balloon, and thus a longer time to experience the pull/push from the balloon, and thus a greater visual effect for demonstration purposes.

dudeskidaddydudeskidaddy (4 months ago)
Why not try with deionized water.

Frank lFrank l (4 months ago)
I heard that pure water does not conduct electricity and it is often metallic or other minerals with in the water that conducts electricity. Could the speed and the motion of water traveling through be conducting a slight static charge?

xokelis00xokelis00 (4 months ago)
Seems like you should redo this experiment with your new 15000 fps camera. =)

Dan SimbaddDan Simbadd (4 months ago)
aw man I wanna be a scientist :(

11RoAR1111RoAR11 (4 months ago)
Wouldn't be the first time Veritasium is wrong.

Kosmos HorologyKosmos Horology (4 months ago)
I expect the experiment should behave very differently using the insulated setup Thunderfoot used - surely the fact that mains/household water supplies are connected to earth has a bearing on this? The water in the original earthed setup has an enormous pool of "neutral" charge behind it. The experimental setups are not equivalent, as I see it.

newton9837newton9837 (4 months ago)
a simple test would be to test the ph of the water droplets with an without the cup. it should be slightly acidic of the H+ ions are the cause.

Jesse GunnJesse Gunn (4 months ago)
DAMN! Thunderf00t that is such a cleverly designed experiment. This is why I watch your channel. :) Thanks for the critical thinking!

pjpj (4 months ago)
Why didn't you try using deionized water? wouldn't that have been an immediate refutation of Veritasium's Experiment should there have been attraction (or a significant reduction of attraction) in this case?

Col. CoolCol. Cool (4 months ago)
naive realism?

jet flaquejet flaque (5 months ago)
two scientists one cup :)

jet flaquejet flaque (5 months ago)
sorry for that..its friday

Algie Evan DeWitt VAlgie Evan DeWitt V (5 months ago)
You know... I wonder how effective showing differing experiments on video like this back and forth between scientists would be at showing people what science really is and why it works. I think part of the issue with people 'believing' in science is the fact that they are always being told what the end result is instead of seeing how the conclusion was made and how it was checked and verified. I know this would be very difficult to do in many cases... but I think that instead of simply showing how "right" science is... showing how getting /to/ the right answer with science is effective.

I imagine it is a lot like being in higher end science classes where you need to prove or disprove something through an actually presented experiment. I do think the major flaw with an idea like this is how solidly most science already is... but a skilled teacher could present scenarios in a wrong but possible fashion and have those they are teaching work to show how it is incorrect.

joel arseneaultjoel arseneault (5 months ago)
I love how 1. Thunderfoot, who has a reputation for going for the throat, was relatively polite. 2. VE and Thunderfoot and humble enough to have a discussion about what's really happening.

Pride gets the best of us sometimes, but it's good to see some people can get a handle on it and move forward.

Ron RonsonRon Ronson (5 months ago)
What happens when you bring balloons from both sides at the same time? Does it disrupt the constant stream, and force the stream to break into droplets sooner?

iSweat-AxioniSweat-Axion (5 months ago)
Veritasium has a habit of getting things wrong, this is nothing special.

Dark GodDark God (5 months ago)
and what if you mantain the stream of water even at the end?

Lars KristianLars Kristian (5 months ago)
so what happens if you use deinoized water?

jason dadsjason dads (5 months ago)
This is how i discovered thunder foot

Nava9380Nava9380 (4 months ago)
jason dads OK , my bad.

jason dadsjason dads (5 months ago)
+Nava9380 2 years ago

Nava9380Nava9380 (5 months ago)
jason dads better late than never

Merlin JonesMerlin Jones (5 months ago)
The water in the tap cant carry a charge as it is already grounded. EVERY water system is grounded by LAW,

bdf2718bdf2718 (5 months ago)
Random speculation here (not strong enough to be a hypothesis). Charge separation occurs because of droplet formation. This means the solid stream has one charge and the droplets the opposite charge. Leading to the prediction: try it with an object that has the opposite polarity to the cup/balloon and the stream will be repelled and the droplets attracted. This is not the result that would be predicted from veritasium's theory which would predict attraction of the stream no matter the polarity of the object.

Probably complete bullshit because it's late at night here and I have NOT been drinking alcohol. OK, I still spout bullshit even when drunk, but at that point I no longer realize it's bullshit.

RednufosRednufos (5 months ago)
666,485 subs
^^^ hail satan guys

NexusCubedNexusCubed (5 months ago)
Wouldn't it be easier to prove it by doing the experiment with pure water that has been cleaned of any other chemicals in it?

MorpheasMorpheas (5 months ago)
He means distilled water, purified water without any other chemicals or anything inside.
The water that comes out of your tap isnt pure water, its got chemicals such as chlorine to kill germs and make it "cleaner" for consumption.

But we dont know what water Thunderf00t use anyway, so....yeah.

Christoffer RasmussenChristoffer Rasmussen (5 months ago)
Oh you mean like... Water?

sasja de vries.sasja de vries. (5 months ago)
What's wrong with testing this with distilled water? That would disprove his ion theory so quickly...

sasja de vries.sasja de vries. (3 months ago)
+Gonzalo Ayala Ibarre
Yes, you're right, that's exactly what the person "ATschTheCube" said before you.

Gonzalo Ayala IbarreGonzalo Ayala Ibarre (3 months ago)
You would still have H3O+ and OH- in extremely low quantities,

ATschTheCubeATschTheCube (4 months ago)
sasja de vries: Well, even if you remove all other ios, water still contains H30+ and OH- ions

Abdulrahman ShubbakAbdulrahman Shubbak (4 months ago)
my guess is that that doesn't work because (as Razgrits sais) there are still Ions in destilled water. that is because even in destilled water, auto-dissociation still occurs. that means that H2O Molecules dissociate into OH- ad H+ Ions which is why in perfectly pure water, there is a concentration of H+ Ions of 10^-7 mol/l (the concentration of OH - Ions is the same) which is incidentally the reason that pH 7 is neutral (as the pH value is the negative decadic logarithm of the concentration of H+ Ions)

of course i don't disagree with you that in perfectly pure water the effect should be less noticable which is why the experiment might work

btw i don't know what deionized water is (of course the name speaks for itself but to the best of my knowledge auto-dissociation always occurs so that's why I'm not sure whether deionized water really has no Ions in it or only barely any ions, especially seeing as that the two of you disagree on whether it's the same as destilled water)


ImGrumpherImGrumpher (4 months ago)
yes it's simple but it's pretty well know (to the science community atleast) that it isn't the dipole nature of water that causes this affect because like veritasium said it just isn't strong enough

Trigg EthridgeTrigg Ethridge (5 months ago)
could the electrons be headed downstream? after the water passes the balloon and has become positively charged seems more likely that the the electrons in the water next to the balloon would head to the positively charged water below it. this would be consistent with your experiment where the end water would still be attracted to the balloon.

Kenneth Stephen DoigKenneth Stephen Doig (6 months ago)
I un-unsubscribed. I disagree with your political polemics, but you are a thorn in the sides of SJWs, idiots like Laci Green, Anita Sarkeesian & you make interesting videos on a wide variety of subjects

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