DO Try This at Home: Cloud in a Bottle

DO Try This at Home

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With you and your kids staying home, here is an experiment to learn about clouds! Here is how to make a cloud in a bottle.

Joining me this week is Chief Meteorologist Jamie Warriner!

Here are the materials you will need:

  • One two-liter bottle
  • A bike pump
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A valve from an inner tube from a bicycle wheel used to make a seal

What exactly is happening?

This experiment is all about the equation of state, which involves volume, temperature, and pressure.

When you get higher up in the atmosphere moisture condenses, volume increases, and temperature decreases. This experiment demonstrates how that comes into play in cloud formation.

The bottle acts as the atmosphere, the rubbing alcohol acts as the moisture in the air, and the valve used to demonstrate pressure changes.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Put a little bit of rubbing alcohol in the bottle
  • Close the bottle. Coat the sides of the bottle with the rubbing alcohol
  • Put the stopped on the top of the bottle already attached to the bike pump
  • Push down on the bike pump several times, you will feel the pressure build inside the bottle
  • Once you feel there is enough pressure, remove the stopped, releasing the pressure
  • This quickly cools the air and the moisture condenses, creating a cloud!
  • By adding more pressure, the air will warm causing the cloud to disappear due to the moisture decompressing

Send me videos if you do try this at home at bfinello@kolr10.com.

To see more at-home lessons, go to the weather tab, click on DO try this at home!

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