Watch CBSN Live

See physics phenomenon of self siphoning beads

(CBS News) We've got a fun, educational post involving physics coming up in just a moment from our newest addition to The Feed team, Lesley Savage. But before we get into learning and answers and such, how about I start us off with a question: what causes this strange reaction to happen in the video above? (Answers of "gravity" will not be accepted in this pop quiz.)

The clip entitled "Self siphoning beads" was posted on YouTube by Steve Mould, who does provide an answer to the visual question on his website with the following:

The chain is the stuff from vertical blinds. The thing you pull on to open and close them. Searching for metal 4.5mm bead chain on ebay gets you the right sort of thing. That also bring up the linkages you'll need to buy to make the chain really long.
The reason it self siphons is that the chain pulling down outside the beaker is longer (and heavier) than the chain pulling down on the inside of the beaker.
The reason the chain loops up higher than the rim of the beaker is a bit of a mystery. I think it's to do with the fact that the beads are changing direction and it can't do that instantaneously as that would represent infinite acceleration. So a big loop is formed. I don't know, something like that.
So... it's a reverse-Tardis and bigger on the outside than the inside. (Yes, I'm a huge fan.) But does anyone have an answer for why the chain is looping higher than the rim of the beaker? If so, definitely feel free to leave me some comment love below with your knowledge for us. And to check out more work from Steve Mould, be sure to visit his website by clicking here.