Scienceshow/Cryogenics/The Fountain

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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 / Cryogenic gloves
  • Audience/participants: None.

Materials[edit | edit source]

  • One brass tube, 5cm across, 40 cm high. This brass tube is closed on one end and open on the other.
  • One cork with two holes in it which fits on the brass tube
  • Two glass tubes which fit into the holes in the cork, 40cm long
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Water
  • A stable table

Procedure[edit | edit source]

Preparation: Stick the glass tubes into the cork. Make sure the glass tubes stick out about 5 cm above the cork.

Put on safety goggles and cryogenic gloves.

Put some water onto the table, and put the tube in this - with the closed side down. Pour the liquid nitrogen into the tube. Now put the cork with the glass tubes down into the brass tube. This will cause a massive fountain of liquid nitrogen to squirt out of the glass tubes.

The waste product (liquid nitrogen) will evaporate into the air.

Dangers[edit | edit source]

  • Be sure to always wear gloves and glasses when doing this experiment
  • Be sure to NEVER do this experiment twice in a row, while the equipment is still cold. If the equipment is still cold, the lower temperature difference will cause the liquid nitrogen to evaporate slower. This means that you get liquid nitrogen sprayed all over you!
  • Keep your head below the tube when doing this experiment. Liquid nitrogen which lands in your neck is less dangerous than liquid nitrogen which lands in your face

Other Factors[edit | edit source]

As said above, the higher the temperature difference between the equipment and the liquid nitrogen, the larger the effect. Therefore, it is possible to increase the effect of this experiment by heating the equipment with a blow drier beforehand.

Show notes[edit | edit source]

It is very important that you need two people to do this experiment; one pours the liquid nitrogen into the fountain tube, the other one puts the cork on. If you try to do both by yourself, so much liquid nitrogen will have evaporated that the effect will be much less.

Explanation[edit | edit source]

What's taking place[edit | edit source]

The liquid nitrogen evaporates, creating more pressure in the tube. Because the glass tubes are below the waterline of the liquid nitrogen, the liquid nitrogen is pushed out instead of the gas.

In the real world[edit | edit source]

Espresso machines work like this; steam is built up in a chamber, and the boiling liquid is pushed through coffee powder.

More Information[edit | edit source]

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

Experiment developed by Stichting Rino Page made possible by EuroPhysicsFun

References[edit | edit source]

See Wikipedia:Footnotes for an explanation of how to generate footnotes using the <ref> and </ref> tags [1].

  1. example reference

This opensource material is from The Wiki Science Show Book in English. There is an overview of available guides. It is based on the template for new guides. Related media files can be found on Wikimedia Commons ScienceShow.

  • Links to this guide in other languages: English.