How To: Crush metal with ice water (and air pressure)

Crush metal with ice water (and air pressure)

Air. It's all around us. Put it to work with this home science how-to, which demonstrates a cool method for crushing aluminum cans with a little bit of ice water and a whole lot of air pressure. To follow along with this experiment at home, you'll need a soda or paint can, a large bowl of water, some ice, and a stove top.

When the water boils, it pushes all the air out of the can. Quickly cooling the can, in turn, causes all of the water vapor to condense, creating a vacuum inside of the can. Because of this vacuum, the air pressure outside the can is greater than inside and the can collapses.

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