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Balloon in LN2

  1. Jun 20, 2010 #1
    I'm supposed to do a little demonstration to some middle school kids and one thing thats planned is sticking a balloon in liquid N2. The guy who showed us what they want (who doesnt appear to know anything about science) claimed that the liquid you see in the bottom of the balloon when you let it sit in the LN2 is water, but I said no that can't be because water would freeze very quickly and the liquid is liquified gasses, mainly N2, O2, that were already in the balloon and he said that it was water, I wasn't going to argue but I still think he's full of crap.

    Anyways, I don't want to lie to little kids, so who's right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2010 #2


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    You're correct, water would freeze. I'd guess it's primarily liquid oxygen since the oxygen liquifies at a temperature above that of LN2 at ambient pressure. Could be a bit of argon in there too. Water and carbon dioxide would solidify, and you could find them both in very small proportions compared to the oxygen.

    Maybe get the liquid in there and put it over a burner at the end of a long stick? I bet the rubber in the balloon and concentrated oxygen would make an interesting, though small fireworks display!
  4. Jun 24, 2010 #3
    Yes, it is liquid oxygen. If your balloon is clear, then the liquid should appear pale-blue. You should not attempt to burn it. :surprised
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