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What is Buoyancy?

Haveyoueverwonderedwhymassiveboatsandshipsweighinghundredsoftonsfloatwhilesmall objectslikerockssink?Haveyoueverwonderedwhywhenyouinhaleinapoolyoufloatandwhen youexhaleyousinktothebottomeventhoughyouweighthesame?Thisphenomenoncanbe explainedbythescientificprinciplecalledbuoyancy. Buoyancyistheupwardforcethatanobjectfeelsfromthewaterandwhencomparedtotheweight oftheobject,itiswhatmakesanobjectfloat,sink,orremainneutrallybuoyantinthewater. Whenanobjectfloats,theupwardbuoyantforceexertedbythewaterisgreaterthanthedownward forceoftheweightoftheobject.Youcanalsounderstandthisconceptwithnumbers.Ifanobjects densityislessthanwatersdensity(1g/cm),itwillfloat. Whenanobjectsinks,theweightoftheobjectisgreaterthantheupwardbuoyantforceexertedby thewateranditsdensityisgreaterthan1g/cm.Whenanobjectisneutrallybuoyant,meaningit neithersinksnorfloats,thentheweightoftheobjectisequaltotheupwardbuoyantforceexerted bythewater. Whenneutrallybuoyantinwater,theobjectalsohasthesamedensityaswater.Neutralbuoyancyis averyimportantprincipleintheseaperchcompetition.Justlikearealsubmarine,youwillwantyour seaperchtobeabletosubmergebelowthesurfaceofthewaterwithoutjustsinkingtothefloor.

Density of Object>1 g/cm

Density of Object = 1 g/cm

0 g/cm <Density of Object<1 g/cm

Whenyoustarttobuildyourseaperch,youwillwanttoconsiderthisprinciple.Wecancalculatejust howmuchbuoyancyyourseaperchwillneedinordertobeneutrallybuoyantifweunderstand ArchimedesPrinciple. Archimedessaidthattheupwardbuoyantforceisequaltotheweightofthedisplacedvolumeof liquid.So, BuoyantForce=WeightofDisplacedFluid ThiscanbeexplainedbyNewtonssecondlawwhichstatesthateveryactionhasanequaland oppositereaction.

Stability
Abodyisstablewhenitisinastablestateofequilibriumwhichiswhenabodyisinastateof balancebetweenopposingforces.Stabilityisapropertythatenablestheobjecttodevelopforces thatrestoretheobjectbacktoitsoriginalcondition.Yourseaperchsstabilityalsodependsonits buoyancy.Thebuoyantforceonanobjectactsthroughthecenterofbuoyancy,whichisthesameas thecentroidofthedisplacedvolumeofliquid.Thisis becausetheforceofgravityontheobjectactsthrough theobjectscenterofgravity.Sincetheseactionsmust beequalandopposite,thebuoyantforcemustbe beneaththecenterofgravity.Theweightofthesea perchalsoactsthroughitscenterofgravity.Ifthesetwo pointsdontlineupvertically,thenyourseaperchwill rotateandnotmaintainstability. Onsubmarines,buoyancyiscontrolledusingballasttanks.Ballasttanksareusedtoallowthevessel tosubmerge.Themassofthewatertakeninbytheballastsaltersthevesselsbuoyancyandallows thevesseltodive.Similarly,thewaterpushedoutofthesetanksbycompressedairallowsthe buoyantforcetoincreaseandthesubmarinetorise.Thetanksarealsousedtomaintainstability.If thewaterpushedoutandtakeninisnotequalalongtheshipthenitwillbeunbalancedandbeginto tipinacertaindirection.Ifthereismoreweightinoneendofashipthenmoreaircanbekeptthere toincreasethebuoyantforceholdingthatsideup.