Spinning Jet Stream

In this demo a ping pong ball with a hole along the seam is submerged in liquid nitrogen (-196⁰C) to fill it. When removed, the nitrogen in the ball boils and is forced out of the hole in a stream. The stream, which comes out at an angle, causes the ball to spin away from the stream. The “stream” that we see is condensed water vapor, not nitrogen gas.

Pressure Cooker

boiling water in a low pressure syringe

In this demonstration, warm water is placed in a plastic syringe, the syringe is sealed, and the plunger is pulled back causing the water to boil. The water boils because the action of pulling back the plunger increases the volume, thus decreasing the pressure. The boiling point of a liquid is dependent on the pressure of the system, so a decrease in pressure leads to a decrease in boiling point.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Liquid nitrogen is -196˚C and quickly freezes the ingredients into ice cream. The nitrogen boils out leaving deliciously creamy ice cream. The “fog” that we see is condensed water vapor though, not nitrogen gas.

Shrink A Balloon

shrink a balloon liquid nitrogen

When a balloon is placed in liquid nitrogen the air inside it is condensed from the cold (-196°C), causing the balloon to shrink. Once the balloon is removed it will regain its size as the air heats up. Liquid nitrogen boils at room temperature. The “fog” that we see is condensed water vapor though, not nitrogen gas.

Shatter a Flower

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.

Relight A Candle

Candle wax is flammable as a vapor, so a candle can be relit by igniting the smoke trail of a recently blown out candle, which contains wax vapor. This can be used to demonstrate how caution needs to be taken with flammable vapors.