Scienceshow/Cryogenics/Shooting Corks

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Overview[edit | edit source]

In this experiment, corks are launched out of a tube using liquid nitrogen pressure.

Safety[edit | edit source]

Safety Class[edit | edit source]

Very dangerous (Should only be attempted after careful training)

Required Safety Equipment[edit | edit source]

  • The show performer: Glasses and Cryogenic gloves

Materials[edit | edit source]

  • Corks (real ones, not the plastic ones)
  • Tube which is closed on one end
  • Hammer
  • Liquid nitrogen

Procedure[edit | edit source]

Put the liquid nitrogen into the tube. Take a cork and hammer it down the tube. Wait for a while, and the cork will launch itself off.

Alternative methods[edit | edit source]

Some people use a plastic bottle instead of a tube. This is more dangerous, because the plastic bottle is less strong.

Dangers[edit | edit source]

  • Make sure you always hold the tube while the cork is on (to prevent it from falling over)
  • Make sure you always hit the cork only once. If you try to hit it a second time, it might launch itself while you are hitting it, hit the hammer, and fly into the audience.

Other Factors[edit | edit source]

This experiment does not work if the tube is too cold. Never do this experiment twice in a row with the same tube.

Explanation[edit | edit source]

What's taking place[edit | edit source]

The gas in the tube evaporates, and when the pressure is high enough, the cork is pushed out.

In the real world[edit | edit source]

Cannon work like this, only instead of evaporation they use a chemical reaction to produce gas.

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

Experiment developed by Stichting Rino

Page made possible by EuroPhysicsFun

  • Links to this guide in other languages: English.