Obtain two balloons, one larger in diameter than the other. Label the
smaller one - white dwarf and the larger one - star. Insert a plastic
straw (approximately 5-6 inches long) in the mouth of the larger
balloon. Blow it up through the straw. Use a clamp to close the
balloon keeping the straw in place. Next attach the smaller balloon to
the other end of the straw. Slightly release the clamp from the larger
balloon, while holding the mouth of the smaller balloon firmly in place
around the straw.
What do you observe?
What property of cataclysmic variables is demonstrated in this
This activity was developed by Jacqueline Slay, Largo High School, Largo, MD