Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Atmosphere: Play Doh model

Begin with 5 (or 4, if you take your photographs without going back and looking at your own directions... sheesh) equal sized balls of Play Doh.  Color is unimportant in this model. 

Place one ball on a piece of wax paper, this is the troposphere. 

Place a heavy book on top of the Play Doh.

Place another ball of Play Doh on top of the book, this is the stratosphere.

Place another heavy book on top of the Play Doh. 

Continue alternating balls of Play Doh and heavy books until you've accounted for the 5 layers of the atmosphere. 

Then unstack the books.  You'll find that as you move closer to the Earth (the bottom of the stack), the layers become thinner.

1 comment:

  1. Can you explain to me why the layers closer to Earth are thinner? Does it have to do with density, or does it have to do with more "pressing" on them (as in this model), or is it something else entirely? Thank you.