In this experiment, corks are launched out of a tube using liquid nitrogen pressure.
Very dangerous (Should only be attempted after careful training)
Required Safety Equipment
- The show performer: Glasses and Cryogenic gloves
- Corks (real ones, not the plastic ones)
- Tube which is closed on one end
- Liquid nitrogen
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.
Some people use a plastic bottle instead of a tube. This is more dangerous, because the plastic bottle is less strong.
- 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.
This experiment does not work if the tube is too cold. Never do this experiment twice in a row with the same tube.
What's taking place
The gas in the tube evaporates, and when the pressure is high enough, the cork is pushed out.
In the real world
Cannon work like this, only instead of evaporation they use a chemical reaction to produce gas.
Experiment developed by Stichting Rino
Page made possible by EuroPhysicsFun
- Links to this guide in other languages: English.