Monday, November 19, 2007

Helium filled Bubble wrap

Alas I haven't won a Wii from Science Week :(. But one thing that it did highlight to me was how little actual science there is out in the Irish Blogosphere. Other then James . I can't think of anyone that actually blogs much about science which is a shame. So I will try to write a bit more about science. We had a bit of a discussion to the other day at lunch about the use of helium bubble wrap. The idea being that by using helium in the bubble wrap packaging could be make the package lighter by lifting it and thus cheaper to transport. This is both true and false.

It would be cheaper for the reason that when you weigh the parcel in the post office. It would somewhat float thus the weighing machine that sets the price would give you a smaller reading, thus cheaper price. Alas in real terms you are not saving money, well you are the post office is losing. The reason is this. If you consider the parcel being sent by airmail. While on a scales the package would be lighter the airplane is carrying the weight of the parcel and the air around it. Thus even if the package floated in mid-air in the cabin. It would be the same as if it was tided down.

New scientist is having a similar discussion.

1 comment:

Tuathal said...

Try as I might, that contradicts every instinct in my body.

In fact, trying to accept that is the closest my head has come to exploding since I tried to recreate that scene from License to Kill.