MadSci Network: Physics

Re: 2 air filled balloons,what happens if placed in hot/cold H20

Date: Mon Nov 20 19:18:34 2000
Posted By: Renafaye Norby, Faculty, Science Education, Black Hills State Univ.
Area of science: Physics
ID: 974477642.Ph

If the balloon is placed in hot water, the air particles' speed increases 
so the balloon should get larger (unless the water is very very hot in 
which case your balloon could pop - meaning the particles moved so fast 
they overcame the force holding the balloon together). If the balloon is 
placed in cold water, then the air particles' speed will decrease. This 
will be evident in a reduction in the size of the balloon, the amount of 
which is based on how cold the water is. I teach college physics so you can 
use me as a reference. Of course the easiest thing to do is to do the 
experiment and, if the temperature difference is great enough, you will see 
the expected results.
If you could cool the balloon down to -269 degrees Celsius, then the 
particles would be almost motionless (its hard to get down to -273 degrees 
Celsius - which is absolute zero). If the balloon hadn't broken from being 
cooled so much, then it would be almost flat, as the particles would be 
very close to each other and not moving.

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