Online College Courses for Credit

Bill Nye: Blow Out

Bill Nye: Blow Out

Author: Bill Nye

This tutorial by Bill Nye explains an experiment that demonstrates how the shape of a funnel can affect how air flows through it.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

47 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Blow Out


Next time someone has a birthday, try this experiment. Most people can blow out a cake-full of candles with a single blast of breath. Blowing out a single birthday candle should be even easier, shouldn’t it?

What You Need:

1. a plastic funnel

2. a candle (it doesn’t have to be a birthday candle) 
3. an adult

Muy Importante!

Never use matches or candles without an adult around to keep an eye on things. A single match can start a fire that can destroy a whole building. But, it is just a match. So, just be careful.

What You Do:

1. Set the candle on a countertop. 
2. Have an adult light the candle. 
3. Place the narrow end of the funnel in your mouth. 
4. Holding the funnel so the wide end is about 20 centimeters (8 inches) from the candle flame. 
5. Blow. 
6. Now try the same experiment again, this time blowing into the wide end of the funnel, aiming the skinny end at the candle flame.

What’s Happening?

Blowing into the narrow end of the funnel forces your breath to spread out along the edges of the funnel walls. Hardly any air made it directly to the flame. But when you turn the funnel in the other direction, your breath takes an express train to candle flame, cooling it off and snuffing it out.

Blow Out

Here's the same Home Demo in convenient PDF form!