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An experiment with crushing results

An experiment with crushing results

How can a tin can be crushed without manual force? All you need is some water and heat.

01:42

Physics

Keywords

thermodynamics, physics, experiment, boiling, condensation, pressure, steam, air pressure, vacuum

On-screen labels

empty drink can, Bunsen burner, tweezers, glass bowl, Pour some water into an empty drink can, then start heating it to boil the water., More and more steam is generated inside the can, pushing the air out of it., When the steam is visible at the opening of the can, submerge it into room-temperature water with the pair of tweezers., The colder water causes the steam inside the can to condense in a split second and become liquid again, resulting in a significant decrease in volume and pressure., A partial vacuum is created inside the can., The external air pressure, however, is equal to the pressure exerted on a 1 square metre surface by a 10-tonne object. Consequently, this difference in pressure crushes the can instantaneously., The can becomes crushed immediately. Why does it happen?
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