M4 Uncanny Can

Background

Pressure exerted by a gaseous substance in a closed container depends on a number of factors (such as temperature, number of gaseous particles). When one or more of those factors change for a gas in a closed container some times the result can be quite dramatic.

Resources:
M4 Chemistry Matter II: State and Energy. PowerPoint slides on the relationship between state of matter and energy content of particles in a sample of the matter.

Discrepant Event

In this Discrepant Event, a soft drink can with a little bit of water is heated over a Bunsen burner until steam starts coming out of the opening. It is then quickly inverted over a trough of water. Watch the video to see what happens next.

And the question is: Why did the can get crushed?

Concepts involved:

  • energy/heat transfer, evaporation/boiling, pressure, atmospheric pressure, cooling, condensation (additional concepts: vacuum, expansion, contraction, number of gaseous particles).

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