4E20.40 - Balloons, Marshmallows, Shaving Cream & Ivory Foam in a Vacuum

See paragraph one in the procedure section.
See paragraph two in the procedure section.
See paragraph three in the procedure section.
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Balloons, Marshmallows, Shaving Cream & Ivory Foam in a Vacuum
Boyle's Law
Area of Study:
Heat & Fluids
Vacuum pump and bell jar, black perforated metal stand, balloon, shaving cream, and marshmallows.

Take a small 7" balloon and blow it up to half volume.  Place inside the bell jar and evacuate.  The balloon should expand and almost fill the bell jar before it breaks.

Place marshmallows on the marshmallow man wire figure and attach to a small stand.  Place in the bell jar and evacuate.  The marshmallows will expand to about twice their volume before the expansion stops.  However at this point if you allow air back into the bell jar the marshmallow man will go to 1/2 of its original size.  


Place a handful of shaving cream into a Petri dish and place in a bell jar.  Evacuate and the shaving cream should expand to fill the whole bell jar. 

NOTE:  Shut the pump off before shaving cream is sucked into the system.

  • Andrew DePino, Jr., "Peeps", Cream, Heads, and Food Coloring in Vacuum Jar", TPT, Vol. 39, # 1, Jan. 2001, p. 56.
  • Michael D. Edmiston, "Boiling, Bubbles, and Pressure", TPT, Vol. 27, # 3, Mar. 1989, p. 136.
  • Thomas O, Callaway and Harry D. Downing, "Response", TPT, Vol. 27, # 3, Mar. 1989, p. 136.
  • Ken Framme, "More on Marshmallows", TPT, Vol. 26, # 7, Oct. 1988, p. 491.
  • G.T. Clayton, T. O. Callaway, H. D. Downing,  "Experiments with Disposable Hypodermic Syringes", TPT, Vol. 26, # 1, p. 19, January 1988.
  • Paul Hickman.  "Boyled Marshmallows Revisited", TPT, Vol. 25, # 7, p. 430, October 1987.
  • Tim J. Allen, "Popping Corn in a Vacuum", TPT, Vol. 16, # 3, Mar. 1978, p. 168.
  • F- 040:  "Boyle Marshmallow/Shave Cream",  DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • 50 Fun Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You, "Ivory Soap Foam",  National Geographic Kids, p.  102.
  • George M. Hopkins, "Gases", Experimental Science, p. 85.
  • Julien Clinton Sprott, Physics Demonstrations,  "2.3, Bell Jar",  p.72, ISBN 0-299-21580-6.
  • Tik L. Liem, "The Balloon in the Jar", Invitations to Science Inquiry - Supplement to 1st and 2nd Ed. p. 25.

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