January 7, 2014

Boiling Water Thrown into the Air Experiment

With the abnormally low temperatures, there has been a lot of talk about two science experiments that need cold weather.  One is throwing boiling water in the air to turn it into snow.  The other is blowing bubbles on a cold day to make frozen bubbles.  This morning it was about 3° F, so I took advantage of my children's two hour school delay.  The three children and I bundled up and went outside for some cold weather experiments.
Boiling water thrown into very cold air.  Photographed by Big Sister, age 7.
Boiling Water Thrown into Cold Air Experiment
We had two cups of cold water and two cups of boiling water.  When I threw cold water into the air, it appeared as regular water as it fell to the ground.  When I threw the boiling water into the air, the water became very fine ice crystals which evaporated immediately.  When it was boiling it was already close to becoming steam, so throwing it in the air created teeny water droplets.  Or at least that is the scientific explanation that I found here.

Blowing Bubbles into Cold Air Experiment
We also decided to continue to brave the cold by blowing bubbles to see if they would freeze.  Though it was 3°, it was incredibly windy (about 20 mph).  None of our bubbles froze in a noticeable way.  However, it was so windy, they were blown far from us quickly before popping.  I was unable to determine if any bubbles actually froze.  (Big Sister was not able to photograph this.)

I originally heard about this on Facebook, but I'm not sure the original source.

Did you try either of these cold weather experiments?  Fun, huh?  Did you have more success with freezing bubbles than our family?  Tell me all about it!

See our lemon science experiments, too! ~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

6 comments:

  1. Because you are awesome that way!

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  2. We had a lot of fun with frozen soap bubbles in 2010 at 0 degrees F. It's really neat when it works.

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    1. It was about 3 degrees F...but just didn't want to work this time. :) Oh well!!

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  3. Wow, I heard a lot of people got burned trying the boiling water experiment. We just stayed inside nice and warm!

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    1. I did the tossing of the water on the ground, while my children stayed up on the steps at least 5-10 feet away. :)

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