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Frostbite Theater

Pewter Bells

At room temperature, pewter is a soft metal that is easily formed into new shapes. All of that changes once it's cooled with liquid nitrogen!

Announcer: Frostbite Theater presents... Cold Cuts! No baloney!

Joanna and Steve: Just science!

Joanna: Hi! I'm Joanna!

Steve: And I'm Steve!

This is a Jefferson cup made out of pewter. Pewter is a soft metal, so I can squish it into a new shape by squeezing it a little bit. And, since it's so soft, it makes a beautiful sounding bell.

Pewter Cup: Dink... Dink... Dink...

Joanna: Yeah, not really.

It doesn't ring very well because it's so soft. We can fix that, however, with... liquid nitrogen!

Now that it's frozen solid...

Pewter Cup: Ding! Ding!

Joanna: It rings a whole lot better!

Thanks for watching! I hope you'll join us again soon for another experiment!

Steve: Can I try it?

Joanna: Sure! Just be careful not to drop it. It's really brittle right now.

Steve: I'm not going to drop it...

Pewter Cup: Ding! Ding!

Steve: It really is nice!

Joanna: Um-hum!

Steve: Here you go!

Joanna: Aah! Steve! What did I just say?!

Steve: Oops...

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For questions about this page, please contact Steve Gagnon.