Our second launch attempt with a trash can rocket was an even bigger success! With both a lighter and more durable trash can, it flew at least 50 feet in the air!
The ‘rocket’ is powered by a pressurized 2 liter soda bottle bursting. Liquid nitrogen is sealed in the bottle, and as it boils, its gas form takes up much more space. When it runs out of room, it becomes more and more dense until the bottle bursts with enough force to send the trash can high into the air.
This test was to prepare for an even bigger spectacle! On January 29, we will launch several trash cans at the same time at the finale of a special event we are doing with a private school in Nassau Bay, Texas. Look for a video of that on February 1! I’m excited to share it with you!
Check out this video of a trash can flying high into the air, from just the force of a 2 liter soda bottle bursting!
The bottle was filled about a third of the way full with liquid nitrogen. Nitrogen gas takes up 694 times the volume that it does in liquid form, so as the liquid nitrogen boils inside the sealed bottle, the pressure of the bottle increases rapidly! When the bottle bursts, the force from that pressure being released is enough to make this trash can soar!
This was a test run for one of the next videos I have planned, which will demonstrate the same principle in an even bigger way, so stay tuned! If you would like to be among the first to see that, you can subscribe in the black field below to receive email notifications of new blog posts.
My family has a bit of a tradition of pulling out science toys for the holidays, which started with making Mentos and Diet Coke geysers for the Fourth of July several years ago. This Christmas, we made elephant toothpaste and made a trash can fly up into the air using liquid nitrogen. Check it out in the video below!
I hope you and your family are enjoying a wonderful (and safe!) holiday together!
Among my favorite new pieces of science equipment are my liquid nitrogen dewars. A dewar is a special container designed to store liquefied gases. It is like a special thermos but much larger. When you have a dewar and are trained in safely handling one, you can do science experiments with liquid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen is a super cold liquid version of nitrogen. It is so cold that is boils at −320 °F. That is 352 degrees colder than the temperature that makes water freeze. And it is even colder when it is still a liquid! That’s cold!
One of my favorite demonstrations with liquid nitrogen is making a ‘smoke cloud.’ The smoke is actually a nitrogen being released as a vapor. In this demonstration, you poor warm water into a container of liquid nitrogen. The extreme temperature change causes the nitrogen to turn into a vapor immediately, and if you watch closely, you can see little chunks fly out, which are piece of a ice that were instantly frozen by the liquid nitrogen. That’s really, really cold!
Follow this blog or subscribe to the Yuck Science youtube channel to see more liquid nitrogen demonstrations soon!
We celebrated Halloween doing some science with our next door neighbors down at the lake by our house. First, we filled our jack-o’-lantern with elephant toothpaste, and then we made it explode! We tried to do both of them at the same time but had a little bit of trouble. You can watch the video below!
Or check out some of the photos below! I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween!