4C20.20 - Ice Bomb

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Ice Bomb
Heat & Fluids
Area of Study:
Freezing Water Expands
Ice Bomb Unit with Movable Plunger, Cast Iron Rods, Liquid Nitrogen, and Shallow Plastic Container.

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.

  • Gary Reich, "Exploding Water Drops", TPT, Vol. 54, #1, Jan. 2016, p. 9.
  • D. C. McCollum, R. A. Morandi, "The Ice Bomb", AJP, Vol. 44, #9, Sept. 1976, p. 893.
  • 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/

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