4C20.20 - Ice Bomb

Code Number:
4C20.20
Demo Title:
Ice Bomb
Condition:
Good
Principle:
Heat & Fluids
Area of Study:
Freezing Water Expands
Equipment:
Ice Bomb Unit with Movable Plunger, Cast Iron Rods, Liquid Nitrogen, and Shallow Plastic Container.
Procedure:

Video Credit:  Jonathan M. Sullivan-Wood.

Fill the ice bomb unit with water and insert the movable plunger.  Place the cast iron rod into the holding yoke and adjust the plunger height so that it is just barely touching the rod.  NOTE: Adding or subtracting shims may be necessary to adjust the plunger height.  When assembled, place the unit into the shallow dish and pour in liquid nitrogen till the dish is almost full.  Wait several minutes and you will hear a large "snap" indicating that the water has expanded enough that the plunger has broken the cast iron rod.

References:
  • Gary Reich, "Exploding Water Drops", TPT, Vol. 54, #1, Jan. 2016, p. 9.
  • Charles Vivian, "Water Expands When It Freezes", Science Experiments & Amusements For Children, p. 44.
  • "Ice Bomb", 3BScientific Science Education Catalog, 2011, p. 180. https://www.a3bs.com/


Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.