Shatter Metal… With Liquid Nitrogen!

Shatter Metal… With Liquid Nitrogen!

Frostbite Theater presents… Cold Cuts! No baloney! Just science! Hi! I’m Joanna! And I’m Steve! This is a Jefferson cup made out of pewter. Pewter is a soft metal, so I can squish it into a new shape by squeezing it a little bit. And, since it’s so soft, it makes a beautiful sounding bell. — Dink… Dink… Dink… — Yeah, not really. It doesn’t ring very well because it’s so soft. We can fix that, however, with… liquid nitrogen! Now that it’s frozen solid… — Ding! Ding! — It rings a whole lot better! Thanks for watching! I hope you’ll join us again soon for another experiment! Can I try it? Sure! Just be careful not to drop it. It’s really brittle right now. I’m not going to drop it… — Ding! Ding! — It really is nice! Um-hum! Here you go! Aah! Steve! What did I just say?! Oops…

100 thoughts on “Shatter Metal… With Liquid Nitrogen!

  1. Judging by what Jefferson Lab primarily do, I'd hazard a guess that both Steve and Joanne are nuclear or particle physicists by trade. However, as well as his 'day job' Steve also does a lot of the lab's public / educational outreach (which may be why he sounds a little more confident than Joanne in early videos) – but providing live demonstrations to a lecture theatre full of the adoring public is a completely different kettle of fish to compiling, rehearsing and filming 1½-2 minute videos! 🙂

  2. Usually, the thing that liquid nitrogen is poured into is much, much hotter than the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. This rapidly changes some of the liquid to a gas. The gas expands, 'throwing' some of the liquid out of the way in the process.

  3. at the imaginarium here in my town they do an experiment with liquid nitrogen and lead making it so it rings like a bell … they also shatter a racket ball

  4. I assumed that was the action that was being referred to as well. What I'm not clear on is the object that's being referenced. Imagine if she missed… what? The floor? The desk? The wall?

  5. That would be really hard to do. Throwing it to the side is a completely different motion than throwing it behind.

  6. Theoretically, if one was to put a piece of paper in Liquid Nitrogen and the paper stayed in there long enough to cool down to the temp of the Nitrogen would it get "wet" from the Nitrogen?

  7. Wow! Nifty! Two things I'd like to see; what happens if you mix room-temperature soda water and liquid nitrogen, and what liquid nitrogen does to gummy worms. Thanks and a major thank-you for reminding everyone that science is fun!


  8. i live in virginia right next to jefferson lab they demonstrated at our middle school it was awesome he wasted about a gallon of liquid nitrogen on the curtains ;]

  9. the other reason is that Joanna has a newborn baby so they would not be making videos just yet. when Joanna is ready to return, maybe they will make more videos. but Steve… upload more BLOOPERS please. love a good laugh.

  10. i like the videos.. but are you guys intentionally ridiculously corny? or are you trying to appeal to a <12 year old crowd?

  11. Your videos remind me of when I would have long conversation about theoretical physics with my teachers in highschool.

  12. I totally forgot what happened with liquid nitrogen that it turns to gas when u put it on the floor….. So when she threw it over her head I was like THE COMPUTERS!!! Than I was like ohhhh yeahh

  13. pewter also has a low melting point. dunno if its lower then lead though. allthough it does write on paper like Pb.

  14. I thought the same thing too when I started watching these videos. After a while I came to realize I would miss it terribly if they changed. Then I subscribed.

  15. Many years ago I saw a nice experiment on the television. They made a hammer using mercury and liquid nitrogen instead of steel. As long as it was cold enough they could easily drive a nail into a block of wood.

  16. I've read some of your comments and you have an extremely awesome sense of humor 😀 Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, nitrogen… :-DDDDD

  17. Ever since I saw a cartoon whereby they used liquid nitrogen to break through prison bars, I've always wondered if that actually would work…

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