Shatter a Flower

DESCRIPTION:
When a flower is dipped in liquid nitrogen (-196°C) it is instantly frozen. Liquid nitrogen boils at room temperature. The “fog” that we see is condensed water vapor though, not nitrogen gas.

TOPICS COVERED:
cryogenics
physical change
vaporization
condensation

MATERIALS NEEDED:
– liquid nitrogen
– flower (preferably with a long stem)

PROCEDURE:
1. Dip the flower in the liquid nitrogen
2. Smash the flower on the table

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
This can also be done with bananas or bouncy balls. This is somewhat of a mess to clean up because flower pieces go everywhere.

SAFETY:
Liquid nitrogen is a cryogenic hazard and can cause severe skin burns. Safety goggles should be worn at all times.

Handout