Condensation Of Steam - Gallon Can Collapse

Purpose

To illustrate forces produced by the pressure drop when steam condenses into water.
 

Equipment

Hot plate, can with lid and small amount of water, gloves.

 

Images

i4-15

Description

A small amount of water in the can is heated with the lid off, filling the can with steam. The can is then removed from the hot plate and the lid quickly screwed tightly thereon. Within a few seconds the steam begins to condense,
 

References

James E. Stewart, The Collapsing Can Revisited, TPT 28, 144 (1991). Jukka O. Mattila, Physics at the Fire Station, TPT 26, 440 (1988).