Marshmallow Magic

DESCRIPTION:
When a marshmallow is placed in a large capped syringe and the plunger is pushed in, the air in the marshmallow contracts from the pressure. Conversely, if the plunger is pulled back, the pressure decreases causing the air in the marshmallow to expand.

TOPICS COVERED:
Boyle’s law
pressure
physical change

MATERIALS NEEDED:
– syringe with cap
– marshmallow

PROCEDURE:
1. Place marshmallow in syringe, replacing plunger
2. Cap the syringe
3. Hold the cap on, and push the plunger in slowly
4. Release the cap, and push plunger to the marshmallow
5. Replace cap and pull back on plunger

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
You may need to experiment with various size marshmallows and plungers to get a combination that is easy to see what is happening.

SAFETY:
Safety goggles should be worn at all times.

REFERENCES:
Lysher, Rita. Personal Interview by Kevin Caran. 15 Jul 2011.

Handout