Ping pong balls and liquid nitrogen

Jeez, I never had a physics instructor like this!

A roomful of lucky students at Plymouth University (UK) are about to learn from Dr. Roy Lowry the difference between gas and liquid physical states, and the energy transfer that occurs as an element shifts from one state to another.

All it takes is a plastic water bottle half-filled with liquid nitrogen, a protective plastic bucket with some warm water, and 1,500 ping pong balls. Watch and learn.

(My first thought when I saw this was: “Dang, I had access to liquid nitrogen at my last job! Why didn’t any of us do this at a party??”)


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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7 Responses to Ping pong balls and liquid nitrogen

  1. Lilaine says:

    Great! 😀

    Why didn’t any of us do this at a party??

    Nobody had the balls? 😉

  2. Alma says:

    I whooped out loud. Several times.
    And this is exactly the type of thing my physics instructor in high school might have done, had he had the right equipment. Sadly, I didn’t get to play with liquid nitrogen until uni.

  3. Power Wench says:

    WOW! And we thought we were so impressive with the Mentos!
    Bet that Prof was a terror as a teen, always blowing things up in the back yard.

  4. Cathy White says:

    That was fun, a bit like the exploding rubbish bag in the volcano. Saw a meteor shower tonight, stunning

  5. Cathy White says:

    On a different topic, but one that gets a lot of attention here, the Royal Observatory has put up some of the 2012 competition winning photos. They are truly beautiful

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