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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Author vicky meyer ( ago)
Junior intellectual root drawing characterize may spin judgment.

Author Artem Zhuravski ( ago)
Well he is kinda wrong not totaly

Author Ben Snash ( 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

Author Crooks and Crafts ( 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?

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

Author Auke Mebel ( 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.

Author Guy Stokes ( 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?

Author Hiccup Zain ( 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

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

Author Steven Baal ( 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.

Author Oggy Oggy AKA British Mapping ( 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!

Author 猫我蜜糖 ( 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.

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

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

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

Author seasong ( ago)
So it works with destilled water?

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

Author Maximillion Thermidor ( 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.

Author The Mad Hatter ( 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.

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

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

Author Eugene Arabadzhi ( ago)
He just veritasiumed veritasium

Author Davide Riccardo Gabrielli ( ago)
Thunderf00t try that in vacuum

Author John Doe ( 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.

Author Brian Stevens ( 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

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

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

Author Mecca Miles ( 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.

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

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

Author Solder Joe ( 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.

Author Austito R ( ago)
slanderous and i love it

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

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 Potato ( 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)

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

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)

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 Frank l ( 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.

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