4C40.15 - Change of Volume with Change of State - CO2 or Liq. N2 and a Balloon

See paragraph one in the procedure section.
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Change of Volume with Change of State - CO2 or Liq. N2 and a Balloon
Change of State, Phase Changes
Area of Study:
Heat & Fluids
Test Tube, Test Tube Clamp, Small Balloon (7 inch), Dry Ice, Modified Syringe, Liquid Nitrogen.

Video Credit: Jonathan M. Sullivan-Wood.

Fill the test tube with dry ice. Place the balloon over the end of the tube. As the dry ice warms it will change to a gas and expand the balloon. The balloon can be made to blow off the tube if heat is applied to the test tube rapidly enough. An alternative is to inject the CO2 into the balloon with the modified syringe.  Insert the syringe far into the neck of the balloon to make this work effectively. 

Liquid Nitrogen can be substituted for the CO2 as it expands about 1000 times when going from liquid to gas.  Realize that this is different from the CO2 as the CO2 is going from a solid to a gas, whereas the liquid nitrogen is only going from liquid to a gas.  You may speed up the expansion process by placing the balloons into a pan of warm water. 

You can make a small explosion by putting CO2 into a film canister and then setting it top down on the table.  When the pressure builds sufficiently, the canister will "pop", shooting the body of the canister into the air.

  • J. Thomas Dickinson, "Liquid Nitrogen in a Balloon", TPT, Vol. 15, # 6, Sept. 1977, p. 361.
  • Hk - 1:  Freier and Anderson,  A Demonstration Handbook for Physics.

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