Question

Explain the following: A balloon filled with hydrogen rises to a certain height and then stops rising further.

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Answer

A balloon filled with hydrogen rises to a certain height and then stops rising further, because the density of air decreases with altitude. Therefore, as the balloon gradually goes up, the weight of the displaced air (i.e., upthrust) decreases. It keeps on rising as long as the upthrust on it exceeds it’s weight. When upthrust becomes equal to its weight, it stops rising further.

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A weather forecasting plastic balloon of volume 15 m3 contains hydrogen of density 0.09 kg m-3. The volume of an equipment carried by the balloon is negligible compared to it’s own volume. The mass of the empty balloon alone is 7.15 kg. The balloon is floating in air of density 1.3 kg m-3. Calculate : (i) the mass of hydrogen in the balloon, (ii) the mass of hydrogen and balloon, (iii) the total mass of hydrogen, balloon and equipment if the mass of equipment is x kg, (iv) the mass of air displaced by balloon and (v) the mass of equipment using the law of floatation.

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