Q:

Why does a can collapse when a vacuum pump removes air from it?

A:

Quick Answer

Objects maintain their shape by achieving equilibrium between forces. The air inside a can exerts pressure against the interior surface that pushes the walls of the can outward, and the air outside of the can exerts pressure that pushes the sides inward.

  Know More

Full Answer

Evacuating most of the air from inside a can removes the outward-pushing pressure, which leaves only the crushing force of the air outside to act on the can. Without something inside to balance this force, the pressure of the outside air overcomes the structural integrity of the metal can and collapses its walls. The result is a crushed can.

Learn more about Motion & Mechanics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an air conditioner vacuum pump?

    A:

    An air conditioner vacuum pump is a pump used to remove moisture from refrigerant lines. Moisture enters an air conditioner during installation and must be removed before the air conditioner is used. If the lines are not vacuumed, the air conditioner can not work efficiently.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is rotational equilibrium?

    A:

    Rotational equilibrium occurs when an object is either not rotating and remains at rest or is rotating at a constant rate – all torques acting on an object have a net value of zero, and there's no rotational acceleration. This occurs due to the rotational analogue to Newton's first law: an object at rest or in motion continues in the same state unless acted on by an unbalanced torque.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are forces measured?

    A:

    Forces are measured by using devices such as bathroom scales and spring balances, also known as force meters or Newton meters. When the mass and acceleration of an object are given, forces can also be measured using the equation F = ma, where "F" indicates the force, "m" denotes the mass and "a" represents acceleration.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is coplanar forces?

    A:

    Coplanar forces are forces on a single plane. This means that all points of application are inside that plane and that all forces are running parallel to that plane.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore