Archive | September 2013

Fun with Dry Ice

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It is colder than ice made from water. When it evaporates, it turns from a solid to a gas. It never turns into a liquid.

My dad helped me do some interesting experiments with dry ice. We couldn’t find the video camera, so we used my dad’s iPod Touch instead.

Dry Ice Evaporates Quickly

When we first wanted to do some experiments, we bought dry ice and put it in the freezer. But it evaporated over night. We couldn’t do anything.

Dry Ice Makes Noise

When you put metal against dry ice, it makes a noise. First I did a penny. It got very cold and squealed. Next I did a quarter. It made a louder noise. And it vibrated when I let go of it. Tongs also made the noise.

This happens because dry ice turns into a gas when it evaporates. That process is called sublimation. The metal is warmer than the dry ice, so putting it on the dry ice causes the dry ice to sublimate. Carbon dioxide gas pushes against the metal and causes sound waves.  The dry ice is pressed against the metal, and there are places where gas gets trapped between the ice and the metal. When some of the gas gets released through a small opening, it makes a noise. And that noise then vibrates the metal.

Dry Ice Can Blow Up a Balloon

Then I put two small pieces of dry ice in a balloon, and tied it. The dry ice started to sublimate and release carbon dioxide. And that made the balloon get bigger. I didn’t put enough dry ice in the balloon to blow it up all the way or pop it. Next time, I’ll use more.

Dry Ice Puts Out a Candle

For my next experiment, I put a lit candle in a glass bowl. Then I put dry ice in the bowl with it. The flame went out in a couple of seconds. Then, I tried to relight it. But when the matches we in the bowl, they went out.

This happened because the carbon dioxide pushed all of the oxygen out of the bowl, and fire needs oxygen.

Dry Ice Makes Fog

We took the candle out of the bowl and put in some warm water in it. It looked like smoke. But instead of going up, it moved up the sides of the bowl, then down the sides of the bowl to the counter. When I blew into it, it poofed out.

Dry Ice Blows Up a Zip Lock Bag

For the last experiment, we put warm water and dry ice in a Zip-Lock bag. It was supposed to get big and pop open. But it just developed leaks instead.