Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Clouds and Suspensions
Name: Zoe
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Hi! My class is doing stuff about... suspension! We want to know if a cloud is a suspension.


Clouds are not strictly a suspension. In a suspension, particles are "suspended" within a fluid either because they have the same density as the fluid or because the fluid is viscous enough to hold them up - if the latter, in time they may drop to the bottom of the container through the force of gravity.

The water droplets in a cloud are heavier than the air that they are in. However, the air is rising, either as a layer or as a convective plume, thereby exerting a force opposite to and at least as great as gravity, to prevent them from falling.

David R. Cook

Click here to return to the Weather Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory