Here's a Question! - Steam Filled Can in Ice Water
A little bit of water is poured into an aluminum soda can. The can is placed on a heater and the water is brought to a boil. The can is picked up, turned upside down, and then slowly lowered into a bath of ice water. What happens to the can?
Announcer: Frostbite Theater presents... Cold Cuts! No baloney!
Joanna and Steve: Just science!
Joanna: Hi! I'm Joanna!
Steve: And I'm Steve!
Joanna: Here's a question for you...
Steve: A little bit of water is poured into an aluminum soda can.
Joanna: The can is placed on a heater and the water is brought to a boil.
Steve: The can is picked up, turned upside down, and then slowly lowered into a bath of ice water.
Joanna: What happens to the can?
Steve: Does it inflate like a balloon?
Joanna: Does it just sort of sit there?
Steve: Does it suddenly collapse in on itself?
Joanna: Or, does it whistle like a tea kettle?
Pause the video now if you'd like to think it over before we show you what happens.
Joanna: This can doesn't suddenly implode because the air pressure is the same inside the can as outside the can.
Steve: Putting the can in ice water cools the gas inside it. If a gas' temperature drops, and its volume stays the same, then its pressure drops.
Joanna: But, there's more to it that that. Remember, there was boiling water inside the can, so a lot of the gas in the can was water vapor, not just regular air. Putting it in the ice water cooled it enough to change it back to a liquid.
Steve: So, suddenly, a lot of the gas that was in the can wasn't gas anymore.
Joanna: This really lowered the pressure and the atmosphere did the rest.
Thanks for watching. I hope you'll join us again soon for another question!
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