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camsmom 01-19-2007 03:57 PM

P{LZ HELP with vacuum/air pressure experiment 5th grade..ASAP!!!

I am trying to help my son find a topic for a science project. He is in 5th grade and is very bright. We may have narrowed it down and are considering doing a science project on vaccuum/air pressure. Namely the egg in the bottle or water balloon in the bottle experiment. Basically you have a bottle put a match in it and then the egg/water balloon goes on the mouth of the bottle and it eventually gets pulled into the bottle. I have a few questions though before we decide if this is the project for us. So I need anyones/everyones help PLZZZ ASAP!!!

1. Is this project vacuum or air pressure or something different? I have seen it presented as both and am not sure of what the difference is. I know one explained that the fire burns the air making less air inside bottle causing pressure which causes the egg to be pulled iinto the bottle. The other one said something about the molecules being heated up by the match cauing the molecules to go closer or something like that making a vaccuum...I dont know what all this means and which is right...

2. What would make a good question for this experiment...We considered can a bottle be made into a vacuum? or can air pressure alone cause an egg to be sucked into a bottle. We are still unsure about this because we are not sure if air pressure or a vacuum causes the egg to go into the bottle.

We would love any advice or suggestion on how to proceed with this project.


theBman 01-22-2007 03:30 PM

Well, for your first question, a vacuum is just a place without any air (or anything else), such as space. Air pressure is how compressed air is in a certain place. if you have a room at normal barometric pressure and you put more air in with a fan, the air pressure will increase. So a vacuum is just a lack of air pressure. The egg is sucked in because the match uses all the oxygen in the bottle. so now you have a bottle with a match which wants oxygen but there is none. meanwhile, outside the bottle all the oxygen in the room have noticed that there is no oxytgen in the bottle. they all want to get in the bottle because the oxygens are crowded. they cant get in through the bottle, so they start pushing on the egg to make it move. result: poof! the egg is sucked in the bottle. it has nothing to do with the atoms getting smaller, if anything the would expand.
For your second question, why not try "Why does the egg get sucked in the bottle when you put a match in the bottle?"

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