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The Barany Chair

Author(s): Gregory L. Vogt, EdD

Inertia Demonstration

A simple classroom model can be built to reproduce the action of hair cells within the ear. In this model, water represents the endolymph fluid, and pencil “bobbers” represent sensory hair cells. 

1. Use string or fishing line to attach several pencil bobbers to the bottom of a food container. 

2. Make sure that the bobbers are evenly spaced and arranged so that the bottom of each bobber almost touches the rim of the container. 

3. Attach a plastic bottle with the top removed, or large diameter PVC pipe, to the center of the food container. 

4. Place the apparatus within a storage canister and fill the canister with water. 

5. Put the top on the canister and place the entire canister on a Lazy Susan.