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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!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sArNxGnYhNU

Veritasiums video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIMihpDmBpY

This video was support though Patreon.
http://www.patreon.com/Thunderf00t


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Comments:

Author DreadX10 ( ago)
H2O, such a simple molecule, until you actually try to understand it's behaviour.

Author Ethan Labun ( 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

Author Sentient Cheesecake ( ago)
Thunderf00t, the most cynical scientist on YouTube. I love it.

Author rosselur ( ago)
what in the fuck gnome kind of shotglass holds 25 ml of liquid?

Author Alexander Sannikov ( 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.

Author Dom Vasta ( ago)
Did we ever figure this one out?

Author Tigrou7777 ( ago)
You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round...

Author Jonnki ( ago)
Veritatium?

Author gonnabeadoctorsoon2 ( 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.

Author signalamplifier ( ago)
much more convincing would be an experiment with the double distilled water.

Author Remus ( ago)
Next please do Vsauce.

Author Techo536 ( 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!

Author Joseph A. Muniz ( 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.

Author Joe YJ ( ago)
I think there is an issue with relative reference frame here. 0.02. Both great channels.

Author PUTIN'S OTHER NEIGHBOUR ( ago)
i think im tto stupid for this

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

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

Author Jakob vucelic-frick ( ago)
mind blowing stuff

Author The Entity ( ago)
this happens because the almighty allah made it so and you dare not say otherwise.

Author Darieee ( ago)
Sweet !

Author Grae Hall ( 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 :)

Author doggonemess ( ago)
4:02 Great, now I have to pee.

Author Myke Prior ( 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.

Author Wolf Edmunds ( 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.

Author JYelton ( 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.

Author Weslin Camden ( 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?

Author Beaujangles McJiggle ( ago)
PEER FUCKING REVIEW, BITCHES!!!!

Author Mr Mürk ( ago)
now try it with something like heptane

Author RoonyKingXL ( 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?

Author Qeeet ( ago)
What music is at the end?

Author John Reed ( 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.

Author dudeskidaddy ( ago)
Why not try with deionized water.

Author no just no ( 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?

Author xokelis00 ( ago)
Seems like you should redo this experiment with your new 15000 fps camera. =)

Author Dan Simbadd ( ago)
aw man I wanna be a scientist :(

Author 11RoAR11 ( ago)
Wouldn't be the first time Veritasium is wrong.

Author Kosmos Horology ( 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.

Author newton9837 ( 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.

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

Author pj ( 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?

Author Col. Cool ( ago)
naive realism?

Author jet flaque ( ago)
two scientists one cup :)

Author Algie Evan DeWitt V ( 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.

Author joel arseneault ( 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.

Author Ron Ronson ( 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?

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

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

Author Lars Kristian ( ago)
so what happens if you use deinoized water?

Author jason dads ( ago)
This is how i discovered thunder foot

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

Author bdf2718 ( 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.

Author Rednufos ( ago)
666,485 subs
^^^ hail satan guys

Author NexusCubed ( 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?

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

Author Trigg Ethridge ( 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.

Author Kenneth Stephen Doig ( 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

Author FieryWingedAngel ( ago)
I see Veritasium has already accepted your explaination to be right but I'd have just used destilled water.

Author Aron Septianto ( ago)
at first i thought you're the one who like to hate science.I was wrong.You explain things better and although i admit that your experiment is more scientific your way of explaining may confuse some newbie.I like your attidude that you admit that we maybe wrong and that's what make founding like quantum physic possible.

Author Thinktank ( ago)
One word. Dielectricity.

Author John Stevens ( ago)
Hmm, saw a TED X vid on a forth state of water. acts like a gel and exist between solid and liquid states. always in proximity to a hydrophilic interface.
Perhaps the ionization causes molecular arrangement like a crystalline lattice (hexagonal or honey comb organization) as a continuous fluid stream it bends while droplets fall away without the internal attractive force structure of the water stream.

Author Johnny ( ago)
Dear Thunderf00t, you can prove or disprove that the effect is due (or not) to ions in the water by repeating the experiment with distilled water.

Author Ernesto Amador ( ago)
This is the first video that I have seen that actually made me carefully analize the data. (I know this is old) but I have been trying experiments in the lab (in my spare time so it is not much)
data I got: It still works with alcohols but is nullified in highly acid or alcaline liquids. If an controled charge is used, it can shift its direction..
I know I need better equipment for this, but it is an interesting subject to trie out...
that and thinks to do with magnets...

Author 64bitAtheist ( ago)
What effect would de-ionised water have on the experiment? I wonder.

Author John Trachsel ( ago)
oh hey I got it...When the water molecules are all touching the electrons can escape to the far side of the stream resulting in a net attraction of the stream as the positively charged molecules are dragged toward the negatively charged object. When the stream is gone the body of water is not large enough for the negatively charged electrons to escape to one side or the other and the negative repulsion force overpowers any attractive force. cite me hahas...

Author John Trachsel ( ago)
they lost me when drops behaved differently "because drops"

Author mehfoos ( ago)
Why not try with steam in a transparent vacuum(i mean have just water molecules inside) chamber, and introduce charge and use condensation as the indicator?

Author E Driven ( ago)
A dog is still a dog. A goatsbeard is still the same plant. You don't understand evolution. Adaptations happen. Evolution does not. Nice try.

Author Steven McLean ( ago)
magnets, how do they work?

Author Jacob Marks ( ago)
Have you tried this with de-ionized water? I would think that comparison would be the most telling as it completely removes the ions system.

Author Refl3x ( ago)
Both experiments have uncontrolled variables and I expected better from scientists.

Uncontrolled variables that I noticed at first glance are:

Water temperature. Perhaps this affects the result, perhaps not. In either case, it has not been accounted for.

Neither party used distilled water. Therefore it is entirely possible that there would be NO deflection to H2O and that the deflection that occurs could be related to mineals and chemicals contained in the water.

IN ADDITION to the point above, people in different locations have different amounts of different types of minerals in the water therefore, BOTH PARTIES have failed to create controlled conditions and this rebuttal is null and voided as you did not use the chemically identical water Veritasium did. Veritasium failed because they failed to make their experiment repeadtable for other parties in different locations.

Author Henry Ward the Kosciuszko Lion ( ago)
How did he even pass Physics?

Author Henry Ward the Kosciuszko Lion ( ago)
I never believed Veritsam cringey assumption made up facts from thin air.

Author Samuel Kemp ( ago)
So it definitely shouldn't work with distilled water that has no dissolved ions?

Author Valentin Tihomirov ( ago)
Ve cannot be true because his model assumes that charge is accumulated. But, I do not believe that you will accumulate a strong charge in the water tap because, obviously, once it becomes too strong, it will repel more than attract the undesired ions and the stream will become neutral again. But, this does not happens, which is a mystery.

Author E Driven ( ago)
Then why do you believe in evolution?

Author Austin Hirsch ( ago)
What if you put a cup on both sides

Author Jordan Carpenter ( ago)
the fact that two science titans of YouTube can respectfully and coherently debate one another instead of passive aggressive name calling makes me very happy

Author pdc023 ( ago)
If Veritasium's explanation is correct, then running the experiment with deionized water should show markedly less deflection.

Author Lucas Farrell ( ago)
What if when you hold the negatively charged object the positive ions move to the side closer to the object and the negatively charged move away due to magnetic attraction. Then because the distance between the positive ions is closer than the distance than the negative ions the positive ions have more of an affect on the direction of the water molecules thus pulling the stream towards the negatively charged object.

Btw my knowledge of electricity and magnetism is only to the level of AP physics C in high school so don't beat up on me too hard

Author Daniel Keriazis ( ago)
Derek from Veritasium? I think you mean Dirk from Vertablium...

Author David Spector ( ago)
The nice thing about science is that it discovers laws of nature, simple truths that are followed by physical systems. One example is that in a nonmoving conductor, any net charge distributes itself evenly, very quickly. This one law helps explain many experiments in static electricity. However, when a conductor (such as a stream of impure water) is moving, then even small net charges can generate a magnetic field. I agree with the voice-over that much more is happening here than meets the eye. I also agree that there is no mechanism that would cause negative charges to move up to the metal tap. However, there are effects that happen at the constriction where a stream emerges from a tube or container. More detailed measurements (little wires used as probes) could undoubtedly reveal exactly what is happening in these experiments. Making measurements is the easy way to figure things out; generating and testing theories is the hard way, and both are based on just a few natural laws.

Author FarmCraft101 ( ago)
I was also skeptical of the ions suggestion. That it wasn't based on the polar molecule of water, but rather ions mixed in with the water. Made me think, could you use distilled pure water with no (or almost no) ions and see a difference? Also, could you use a different liquid that isn't a dipole and show that it behaves differently?

Author Slippy Nips ( ago)
Props for liking your own comment mate ;D

Author Cameron McAllister ( ago)
Couldn't you use distilled water? That way we could test if these positive ions have an effect...

Author AndreasIndustriePro ( ago)
"let me charge up the balloon"
**rubbs balloon on balls**

Author Skunk ( ago)
How does the water react if the water is dropped in individual droplets from the start?

Author Jules F. Osbourne ( ago)
Maybe for your next science video, explain the theory of electron entanglement?

Author Ghost of Coprolite ( ago)
Wouldn't H+ and OH- ions react to form water, as opposed to stay on their own?

Author Batfan1939 ( ago)
If Veritasium was right, then that effect shouldn't be visible in distilled water (or at least, not as visible), as 99% of the impurities in distilled water have been removed.

Author Ignition Gaming ( ago)
+Veritasium
This effect seems to also occur with mercury, but not with oils or other non-conductive liquids.
Perhaps it has to do with the conductive natures of liquids?
Simple enough to test:
2 streams, one with distilled water (non-conductive) and one with salt water (conductive). Compare if they bend or not.

If it is indeed the conductivity of the liquids that causes this effect, then perhaps a volt meter with one end on top of the tube and the other at the end of the laminar flow of the water may clear things up.
I have a feeling I know what's happening but I'm not going to state any speculations without having done any testing. I could do this test myself but 1. it would be an interesting video for one of you two to make, I obviously won't get any views making it, and 2. I'm really lazy.

Author Scott Lahteine ( ago)
Would this experiment work in a vacuum (assuming you could have the water, or other liquid, not turn into a gas and boil away)?

Author MadelnOahu ( ago)
+Thunderf00t You need to do Sharkee, cause half the things he says aren't accurate

Author Massimo O'Kissed ( ago)
Downward flowing water entrains air to flow down with it, then Coanda effect comes into play ?

Author Sick Puppy ( ago)
Step off Ve balls, find ur own experiment fuck head

Author Dawid Ziaja ( ago)
What if you use distilled water? (That might be a stupid statement.)

Author Redmond Quigley ( ago)
Can you redo this experiment with deionised water?

Author Fernand Geene Van ( ago)
Would it be an idea to collect the water that is deflected or attracted, sample it and do a PH-test on those samples?

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