Cloud In A Bottle

Cloud In A Bottle
Watch as the balloon seemingly comes to life on its own and inflates itself. It's the car

Objectives:
  • Demonstrate how a cloud forms by using compression and decompression.


  • Experiment Details:
    • Type: Air Pressure
    • Grades 5-8
    • Difficulty of Project: Easy (Level 2)
    • Cost of Completing Project: $1
    • Approximate Time: Less than 5 minutes

What You'll Need
See Video Below!
  • 2 L soda bottle with lid
  • Water
  • Wooden matches


Step-By-Step Procedure
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STEP 1:
Put a small amount of water in the empty soda bottle.

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STEP 2:
Light the wooden match, blow it out, and put it into the bottle while it is still smoking.
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STEP 3:
Put the lid back onto the soda bottle.
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STEP 4:
Squeeze the bottle as hard as you can.
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STEP 5:
Release the bottle.
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Observation & Conclusion
Compression can do funny things to gasses. When gasses are compressed, they get hotter. Once the gas is able to expand, it will become cooler.
Gasses that are hotter will cause more water to evaporate into water vapor. When the pressure is released, the gas can expand very quickly which causes it to cool. The water vapor will then condensate back into water in a liquid form.
This process allows you to physically see how this heating and cooling creates real clouds.

Science Fair Questions
1. Would this experiment work if there was a way to externally heat the bottle?

2. Does the amount of water matter?

3. What would happen if an ice cube was used in place of water?

Video Demonstrations
Cloud In A Bottle