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Totally Blowing Stuff Up Tuesdays: Liquid Nitrogen

June 8, 2010

You know what's funny? When someone says they want to try to get back to posting everyday, and then don't post for three consecutive days. Hilarity. I have good excuses (they involve spending "time" with "family" and "being a father" and "cleaning up a nasty virus that was eating my computer on Sunday"), but I won't spend them here. I'll save them for another day.

So, I thought I would try to make it up to you by posting videos of explosions. Everyone loves blowing shit up, right? I thought so!

Anyway, as we've gone over here before (oh, look at that, the "imperial we"...not too full of ourselves now, are we?) an explosion is simply an expansion of gases more rapid and forceful than the container that is holding them can withstand. So, if there's too much pressure too fast, then boom. And giggling, though that's more a side effect, at least so long as everyone still has all their fingers, toes, eyes, balls...what have you.

It would, therefore, make sense that, if you have the liquid form of something that prefers to be a gas at room temperature, and you warm it up quickly, there's a good chance there could be some of that rapid expansion of the gas with cataclysmic results.

Like, say, a plastic bottle full of liquid nitrogen thrown into a warm pool...


That's short, sweet, and to the point. I like it, especially since the lights of the pool look green.

Obviously, the liquid nitrogen would warm to the temperature of the air--albeit slowly(-ish)...plastic is an insulator, after all--and the bottle would explode. However, with the water jacketing the bottle and helping transfer heat more efficiently, the bottle goes off faster and, presumably, harder (there's not as much time for excess gas to leak out). And, since it's underwater, you get sexy wave action.

But what happens when you really heat the living shit out of liquid nitrogen? Oh, it's time to call in some thermite:


Perhaps not as satisfying as other thermite reactions shown on here, but it was still kind of fun watching the liquid nitrogen boil away and the pool of molten metal piling up on the cinder blocks.

Plus, thermite is always cool. Heh. Explosion humor.

5 comments:

Scope said...

If you can do that with liquid nitrogen, I wonder what dry ice (a little easier to handle / obtain) can be used for...

SkylersDad said...

I am always on Thermite's side!

Wynn said...

Booo, I'm on mobile internet with only 5 gigs to spare, I have to quit megabyte consumtion funness like youtube, streaming radio and shits. At least until I hack my way through the neighbours wireless intarwebs..

Roo said...

"Thermite--you won't like it when it's angry >:D"

Love that line.
I'm not much for science-y things, but I do thoroughly enjoy it when things are blown up.

The thermite vid was set to Elvis, which made it twice as cool. Fantastic choice of YouTube xD

Nej said...

Oh how I've missed the Tuesday explosions!!! :-)

P.S. I have no idea what it's like to say you are going to start posting, and then life gets in the way.

No clue what you're talking about.

(giggle)