It doesn't get simpler (well, I guess technically it could) than this awesome, quick demo to prove that Air is Matter - that it has volume and mass.
Air is There!
Air is matter. Air is a "something," not a "nothing." Air has mass and takes up space. Air is THERE!
Hey Nerd! It's another fun, easy-to-set-up Experiment to try in your classroom or home from Pow!Science! It doesn't get simpler (well, I guess technically it could) than this awesome, quick demo to prove that Air is Matter - that it has volume and mass.
To demonstrate that although we cannot see air, it most definitely takes up space.
- 1 Balloon per Scientist (take Latex Allergies into consideration when working with groups).
- Empty plastic bottles (like recycled water bottles), 1 per scientist again. We like 20 ounce soda or water bottles, emptied and washed.
- Scissors or a knife.
Step by Step
1. Insert the balloon into the bottle as shown in this amazing diagram that I drew myself. The tricky part is rolling the mouth of the balloon over the OUTSIDE of the mouth of the water bottle. We know you can do it!
2. Put your mouth over the balloon-covered mouth of the bottle and try to blow up the balloon inside the bottle. What happens? Can you do it? You can't do it. That's ok. There's a very scientific reason why you can't.
3. WITH ADULT SUPERVISION use your scissors or knife to poke a few holes in the bottom of the plastic bottle. Hey, be careful not to damage your balloon, which is still inside.
4. Try to blow up the balloon inside the bottle again, just like you did before. How did you do?
What's Going On?
"Matter" is anything that takes up space (has volume) and has mass. We can't see it, but air is matter! You can't inflate the balloon at first because all of the available space inside the bottle is already occupied - by air! When you punch holes in the plastic bottle, the air in the bottle has a way to LEAVE as it gets pushed out by the growing balloon.
Often when we look at a bottle or other container without any liquid or solids in it, we say it's "empty." Is it?
© Hema and Eric Bulmer. All rights reserved.