Sublimation & Photobombing
Early this quarter, fifth graders in science class were learning about sublimation – the process in which a solid form of matter, dry ice, changes to a gas without becoming a liquid. What better way to experience sublimation than blowing bubbles—big and small. We sped up the sublimation of dry ice – frozen carbon dioxide – by placing chunks of it into warm water, dipping the end of a hose into a cup of soapy water, and, viola! CO2 bubbles. Students enjoyed catching the small bubbles with gloved hands.
Excitement and suspense mounted as students watched a humongous bubble being blown-up by a chunk of sublimating dry ice, which had been placed in a bowl of warm water that had a soapy film dragged over the bowl’s rim. Watch the slow-motion video of the behemoth bubble bursting after a thrown glove landed nearby sending air currents rippling over the bubble causing it to become too unstable to continue expanding and finally exploding.
Special thanks to Mr. Trevor Pope, who was able to capture the popping bubble on film; students were too busy photobombing their teacher’s attempts to take pictures.