Video: Exploding Bags of Hydrogen

Chris Higgins
YouTube // Periodic Videos
YouTube // Periodic Videos / YouTube // Periodic Videos

One of the most memorable demos from high school science class involved inflating a balloon with hydrogen and then lighting it on fire. Predictably (oh, the humanity), the thing exploded in a sudden burst of flame, and made a loud noise that scared people three classrooms over.

Periodic Videos has taken things a bit further by cooling a hydrogen-filled balloon in a bath of liquid nitrogen. Here's the funny thing: The cooler balloon made a quieter "bang!" than a typical room-temperature balloon. What's up with that?

If you have five minutes, this video explains the effect through a series of experiments, and is a lovely example of


science in action. Enjoy:

Bonus footage and discussion: