Thursday, June 12, 2014

Egg in a Bottle

Want to do a magic trick?   Amaze your kids by getting an egg in a bottle without touching it - all while exploring the strength of air pressure.


This was a great experiment to show kids the strength of air pressure.   We had a few attempts to get this egg-septional experiment to work.

We set up the experiment and spoke about how we could get an egg into a bottle.  One suggestion was to break it up and put it in.  While that would work it would involve us touching the egg.

So then we took the egg off the top of the bottle, lit a strip of paper and dropped it into the plastic bottle.  Then, the egg was placed back on the top of the bottle.   The egg was rattling as the hot air escaped from the bottle.  Then, it got quiet, and we waited to see the egg go into the bottle.  Instead, out bottle collapsed in on itself.  Whoops.


The egg was stuck on the bottle pretty tightly - we could not pull it off until we carefully released the seal.


Well that was pretty cool and showed us how strong air is - it could crush a plastic bottle!  But our egg was still outside our bottle.  So after multiple attempts (involving almost setting off a fire alarm with all the smoke) we decided we had to use a stronger container - preferably a glass one.  So we scrounged around the kitchen and found a glass bottle that seemed around the correct size.

So we put a birthday candle in the glass bottle, lit the candle and placed the egg on top.


Our egg still did not go into the bottle.  It sealed on there pretty tightly though.   Again we carefully released the seal and thought about what we could do.   

So we decided to sing happy birthday to the egg.  We stuck the candle in the egg and lit it.  We all sang happy birthday while holding the candle under the glass jar.  


We held the egg at the bottom of the jar.   The candle continued to burn until it was out of oxygen, and then it started to slowly slip into the jar.   


 We were so excited!!   Our egg broke as it went into the jar, but it definitely slipped up into the jar.  


We had a lot of fun with the experiment - even though it took a few attempts.  But, that is how science works: try, try, try again until you figure it out.

So what happened here:
When you heat up the air inside the container it expands and comes out of the container creating a low pressure environment within the container.  The air outside the container is a higher pressure which then pushes the egg into the container (or pushes the plastic bottle in so that it collapses).  

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Supplies:
  • boiled egg, peeled
  • glass container with a mouth narrower than the width of an egg
  • birthday candle
  • lighter

Instructions:
  1. Boil and peel an egg.
  2. Stick a birthday candle into the egg.
  3. Light the candle and hold it below the inverted jar and sing happy birthday.
  4. Gently hold the egg against the mouth of jar and wait.
  5. It will slowly be sucked up into the jar.
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