Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Already?

Where has the week gone?  Looks like it is time to reveal the science behind our last Weekend Wonder.

When I poured the boiling hot water onto the dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) we created our own massive cloud.  (Check out a video of it here).

There are materials/substances all around us and in the air are
 bits of water.  These ‘bits’ are so small we can’t see them with our own eyes.  However, if the temperature is cold enough these bits of water will join together and we are able to see them.   Just as we can see clouds in the sky.

For frozen carbon dioxide to remain a solid it needs to be below MINUS 78 degree Celsius.  That’s pretty cold aye?  When we pour on the boiling water it speeds up the change (sublimation) from a solid straight into a gas.  During this process the air in the bucket gets so cold that it creates the prefect conditions to form a cloud. 

The bottom of the bucket got pretty cold too and made an interested ‘crop circle’ on my Mum’s front lawn.  She wasn’t that impressed ….

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