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Treebeard's Stumper
11 December 98

Jar of Flies

The conservation of mass is the idea that the mass of a closed system, like a sealed jar or maybe the Universe itself, should stay the same whatever happens inside. Of course I can bounce on a scale and change the reading for a moment. Suppose we have a sealed jar of flies. We chill it in the refrigerator and weigh the jar with all the flies resting on the bottom. Then we warm it up and weigh it again with all the flies in the air. Will the jar weigh more, less, or the same? What if we use a wire screen cage instead of a jar?

Jar of Flies image Alice in Chains
Jar of Flies
Columbia Records
Jan 1994

Answer


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