Science Education Home Home Teachers Students Games Videos VA SOL Programs

Frostbite Theater

Can of Soda in Liquid Nitrogen!

A sealed can of soda is placed in a bath of liquid nitrogen. Trapped within its can, what will happen as the soda freezes solid?

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

Joanna and Steve: Just science!

Joanna: Hi! I'm Joanna!

Steve: And I'm Steve!

Joanna: Today, we find out what happens when we place a can of soda in liquid nitrogen!

Steve: Excellent!

Joanna: Ummm... You should probably take that outside.

Steve: Ya' think?

Joanna: Yeah.

Steve: Okay.

Door: Kerchunk.

Joanna: Apparently, Steve has forgotten that soda is mostly water, and that water expands when it freezes. The can has some room for expansion, but not much. Sooner or later, the can won't be able to hold it and it will burs...

Steve: Joanna? Joanna?

Joanna: Yeah?

Steve: Are you getting this?

Joanna: Yep! We see you!

Steve: Okay, so it really hasn't done much of anything.

Joanna: Well, make sure you get a good look. Get your face nice and close.

Steve: Nice and close?

Joanna: Yeah.

Steve: Okay.

Can of Soda: Pop!

Steve: Whoa! Okay... Well, the can obviously broke somewhere. Ummm, I can't tell where it broke. Ahhh, there's just too much soda and fog in the way.



Yeah, man, that's just too foggy.


Let me try to get it out of there. I'll get back to you...

Joanna: Anyway, water is one of the few things that expands when it freezes. It can burst your water pipes in winter and, given enough time, it can even tear down mountains!

Steve: I'm back! So, from the looks of it, the side of the can split and the soda leaked out from there. You know, it's lucky for me it was the side that split and not the top. If it had burst through the top, I would have gotten soaked!

Joanna: I tried...

Steve: Sorry, what?

Joanna: Ahhh, nothing!

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

Steve: Heyyyyy...

Joanna: Heehee!

Citation and linking information

For questions about this page, please contact Steve Gagnon.