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Liquid Nitrogen in a Swimming Pool

Posted on: June 15, 2006 | Views: 900 | Comment

Some guys pour liquid nitrogen into a swimming pool, proving beyond a doubt that chemistry is the coolest science ever.

UPDATE: William writes in with more information about the dangers of liquid nitrogen. This is required reading for anyone with ready access to dangerous compounds. Especially children:

Liquid nitrogen is a dangerous material.

A back of the envelope calculation indicates that the entire contents of a 10 Liter dewar being spilled in a unventilated 274 square foot room with an 8 foot ceiling would reduce oxygen levels below the 19.5% level where Air Products recommends the use of a respirator. Since most classrooms are larger than this, suffocation does not represent a major danger. When transporting the liquid in a car, however, it is probably a good idea to open a window.

The possibility of freeze burns represents a much more serious danger and is therefore our first concern. This does not mean that the demonstration itself is dangerous, but it does mean you must be careful.

Dangers include:

Nitrogen can spatter (possibly in eyes) while being poured

Flying chunks of frozen objects could cause eye injury.

Students (being children) will want to reach out and touch nitrogen or other cold objects. As mentioned above, contact with nitrogen can cause tissue damage, and this must be prevented. 

Tags:
experiment • science • liquid nitrogen • swimming pool • chemistry