&quotSee&quot Air Pressure - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

"See" Air Pressure

"See" Air Pressure

How powerful is air pressure? Can it crush a can? Conduct the experiment below to find out. You will need the help of your parents for this experiement!

What you will need:

  • hot plate
  • empty soft drink can
  • tongs to pick up a hot soft drink can
  • shallow pan filled with cool water


PLACE a spoonful of water into the can. PLACE the can open side up onto a heated hotplate. As the water temperature rises, the can will fill with water vapor and steam will escape from the can's opening. USE the tongs to quickly PLACE the can, open end first (upside down), into the shallow pan filled with cool water. Quickly, the can will be crushed, and will give off a dull "pop" sound.

What's happening: The air pressure decreases as the water vapor condenses inside the can. The can is crushed because the air pressure inside the can is less than the air pressure outside the can.

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