Cool Demos!

Author: Jeff Feidler: Deleware Polymer Ambassador

Dry ice is a very popular demo material for young students. As it sublimes, the volume of the material increases many times. This property allows teachers and students to inflate balloons, launch rockets, and blow interesting bubbles with the expanded Carbon Dioxide. Since Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air, density demonstrations can be presented using Carbon Dioxide gas. Chemically, as dry ice sublimes in water, the pH of the water will change as carbonic acid is formed. Colorful demonstrations can be presented using liquid indicators. Explained below, are six popular demonstrations illustrating chemical and physical properties of dry ice. Click under demo name to find complete instructions and more.
Click here to find out more about dry ice.

Demo Name Materials Description
Bubble Fountain Dry Ice, 2 #10 cans, dish detergent, boiling water, tray As the heat of the boiling water causes the dry ice to quickly sublime, large quantities of bubbles flow out of the top of the can. A great demo for young children!
Self-Inflating Balloons Large round balloons, dry ice, funnel Balloons self-inflate as the carbon dioxide gas is released. Depending on the amount of dry ice added, balloons can become quite large and produce very loud sounds when punctured.
Candle Staircase Four candles -assorted heights, large aquarium or similar clear container, dry ice, matches or similar A layer of carbon dioxide is produced as the dry ice sublimes. The rising carbon dioxide extinguishes the candles in order of height. Great for density demonstrations!
Bubble Bombs Large ring stand with clamps, 1" PVC pipe - 72", 12", 6", 2 elbows, 1 connector, 2l bottle, rubber bands, paper towels, bubble soap, dry ice, hot water Soap bubbles filled with carbon dioxide are released from the end of the pipe. Filled with carbon dioxide, they quickly fall to the floor and burst.
Frozen Bubbles aquarium, bubble solution, dry ice Using the "ocean" of carbon dioxide formed in the candle staircase, soap bubbles float on the heavier gas. Those that survive will fill with carbon dioxide and fall to the ice and freeze. Suitable for young children.
Changing Colors 8 - 500ml cylinders or beakers, 4 - liquid pH solutions, household ammonia, water, dry ice Indicator solutions change color as the carbon dioxide and water react to form carbonic acid. A colorful demo!

Clicking here will lead you to more demos.(this link takes you away from the PSLC)

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