Soda Can

Soda Can
Author: Gerad Bandos
Purpose: Demonstrate Charles' Law by imploding an aluminum soda can with nothing more than a bowl of ice water. Explanation: The sudden drop in temperature inside the can from ~95°C to ~0°C makes the pressure drop quickly. The difference in pressure between the room and the inside of the can is too much for the aluminum, so the can collapses.
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1 empty aluminum soda can 1 bowl ice water heat source (electric stove, hot plate, etc.) 1-2 mL H2O
Heat can right-side-up to 100°C. To make sure the can is hot enough, put a couple drops of water on the top of the can. When the water drops dry, the can is hot enough. Add water. 1-2 mL. Wait about 25 seconds. Quickly turn the can upside-down in the bowl of ice water.
Wear safety goggles at all times. Do not handle the hot can with bare hands. Do not overheat the can. Once all the water evaporates, the can heats up very quickly, and it will melt and cause a fire. Do not drink from or otherwise the soda can after the experiment.
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Difficulty:No specific experience required
Preparation Time:  minutes Demonstration Time: 1 minutes
Availability of Materials:Local grocery store
Cost of materials:
Last Updated:Tue 09 Aug 2011 12:44:36 EDT Viewed:182069 times viewed
Source:ChemEd DL, Gerad Bandos, 10 Dec 2008, ChemEd DL