Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Thing #215--Orange Crush


Today I performed an experiment, and I crushed a soda can using steam and atmospheric pressure. Or more precisely, I partially crushed the can so the experiment was a partial success.

The experiment's steps:
  • Empty a can of soda, wash it thoroughly and let it dry.

  • Put a small amount of water in the bottom of the can.

  • Get a dish that's wide enough to allow the can to sit in it easily. Fill it with cold water.

  • Get some tongs and a gas heat source. Hold the can with the tongs over the heat. Heat the can until you see steam come out, telling you the water has begun boiling.

  • Quickly flip the can upside down (mouth down) into the ice-cold water. The can should collapse in on itself.
That's how it was supposed to work. However, since I have an electric range, I had to make some modifications. I put the soda can (with the water) in a pan containing a small amount of water, and put both on the stove. I figured that when the water in the pan boiled, the water in the can would be the same temperature. I guess my assumption was inaccurate, because nothing happened when I took the can out of its water bath and turned it upside down in the cold water.

I tried again, but this time I let the soda can sit in the boiling water for several minutes before I removed it. This time I got a partially crushed can (see the picture at the top). I would hardly call it the implosion that my source said would happen, but I decided to be satisfied with my partial success.

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