News Stories

Water Flows Uphill

At London?s Chelsea flower show this year, vacuum cleaner manufacturer James Dyson created a display where water flowed uphill. Dyson was inspired by artist M.C. Escher, who drew geometrical patterns showing birds turning into fish, etc. "One of these is an optical illusion that shows water going uphill and round and round the four sides of a square perpetually," he says. "I wanted to create a series of cascades that are all on the same level?an everlasting waterfall." Did Dyson learn how to defy physics?

Dyson engineer Derek Phillips spent 12 months building it. Each ramp is covered by a thin glass surface. Water is pumped in at the bottom, and comes out of the opening at the top. At the opening, some of the water is diverted back down the ramp, covering the glass surface in a thin layer of water. Compressed air is also pumped in where the water enters, and the bubbles travel up the ramp. These bubbles, combined with the thin later of water, make the glass surfaces invisible and create the illusion that the water is flowing uphill.

During the show, Phillips liked eavesdrop on the crowds who were marveling at the effect. He says, "I stand a discreet distance away and listen to some of their theories?there are some fantastic ideas there, some of them I actually wish I could make."

Water may not flow uphill, but Hitler really did invent flying saucers?see the photo evidence!

To see diagrams of Dyson's invention,click here.

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