Condensation Of Steam - Soda Can Collapse

Purpose

Surprising demonstration using condensation of steam.
 

Equipment

Heater with soda cans and water, container of cold water, tongs or glove to hold hot can.

 

Setup Time

5 min.
 

    Images

    i4-19

    Description

    A soda can with a small amount of water in the bottom is heated until the water boils, filling the can with steam. Very quickly the can is removed from the heater and inserted upside down into a container of cold water. The steam condenses so quickly that the can collapses, as seen in the photograph. ◙This is quite a dramatic demonstration, and gets a good reaction from students.◙
     

    References

    James McGahan, Collapsing Soda Cans and Efficiency, TPT 28, 550-551 (1990).