Monday, 9 July 2012

Science: A cloud in a bottle experiment

In this post I will show you how to make your own cloud in a bottle and at the same time learn how they are formed.


 

First you will need:

·         A Clear Two Litre Bottle
·         A Match
·         Water

 

Right now for the FUN…


STEP ONE

Take the bottle and put 2cm of water in the bottom.

STEP TWO

With the lid off the bottle, light a match let it burn for a second and then blow it out and drop it into the bottle.  You can also try dropping the match straight into the bottle as the water and the lack of oxygen will put out the flame.


REMEMBER: BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN YOUR FINGERS.  CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT SUPERVISING AT THIS POINT.

 

STEP THREE

Tighten the cap of the bottle tightly and as quickly as you can after dropping in the match.

STEP FOUR

Squeeze the bottle REALLY HARD for about 5-10 seconds while, at the same time, giving it a swirl.

STEP FIVE


Stop squeezing the bottle and let it go allowing it to expand.  What do you see?

You should be able to see a cloud in the bottle.  If you squeeze the bottle again it will disappear and then when you let it go your cloud will reappear. MAGIC!

What is happening?

In short what is happening is smoke particles are floating around above the water.  When you squeeze the bottle the temperature in the bottle increases, this makes some of the water evaporate.  When we let go of the bottle the water condenses small water drops condense on to the smoke particles and this is what forms the cloud.

Why do we use the match?

It’s because water molecules find it hard to condense in clean air, they need something to cling on to so in this experiment we gave it smoke!

Real clouds do the same sort of thing however they cling to things like: dust, pollen and pollution.  Fog works in the same way too.

Did you know that an average cloud is made up of billions of water droplets?
 
 

 
 
A storm cloud can weigh as much as 24 millon Rhinoceros’ (that’s what Chiara read out to me in her national geographic magazine the other day!)

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