This page provides detailed information on the Basic Vacuum Education System
(BVES). This is an easy to construct system with a high level of capabilities.

Above: The BVES is a complete basic vacuum education laboratory. Integrated into one easy to set up and use assembly are an efficient hand pump, clear tubular plastic experiment chamber and Bourdon tube mechanical vacuum gauge. The system has provisions for precision measurement and data collection equipment.
The photograph shows a Vernier Gas Pressure Sensor that is attached to the manifold.


BVES had its origins in early 2006 when I was in the process of proposing a couple of vacuum trainers to The Science Source (TSS) in Waldoboro, ME. It was designed as a very simple system that might be useful at the middle and high school levels. It became known as the Vacuum Principles and Applications Lab - Basic (VPAL-B). The companion system was the far more capable Advanced (VPAL-A) system. VPAL-A was targeted toward the 2 and 4 year college level.

The decision was made to immediately proceed with the VPAL-A, and a fair number of these systems were shipped. In the 2014 timeframe it was decided to move ahead with the VPAL-B and a pre-production prototype was produced. I had roughed out the documentation and things were moving along nicely when TSS was sold to a larger science education supply company. They decided to not take the vacuum trainers as they were relatively low volume and required support at a level they did not want to assume.

Toward the end of 2019 I decided to pull together all of my notes and put together a new version of the apparatus. This is basically the same as the 2006 prototype with a few added features. The accompanying documentation includes a number of exercises, sample results and details on the construction of the system. About all that's required for assembly are a small drill press and some common hand tools.

By the way, I pronounce BVES like the TV cartoon character.

BVES Manual

The BVES manual consists of a complete set of documentation for assembly, set up and use.In addition to construction details, the manual is divided into three main parts

The first part of the manual begins with a description of the system components and how they operate. It moves on to a discussion of pressure measurement units and references and the determination of the system volume.

The next part covers the characterization of the system. This includes the form and determination of the pump down curve and time constant, system base pressure and upleak rate.The last part currently includes 9 exercises. These include:

1. Sound Transmission in Vacuum
2. Air Friction in Vacuum: "Penny & Feather"
3. Boyle‘s Law (Expansion of Balloon)
4. Boyle‘s Law (Deairing of a Liquid)
5. Creating and Sizing a Real Leak
6. Simple Closed–Loop Pressure Control
7. Creating and Sizing a Virtual Leak
8. Evaporative (Adiabatic) Cooling
9. The Boiling Point of Water at Low Pressure

BVES Manual Rev. 1: This is the initial release and is dated March 25, 2020.

Comments, corrections and items for inclusion are solicited. Please let me know if you make use of any of the information in the manual.

Home Page
Education Main Page
Contact Information

Copyright © 2020 Stephen P. Hansen