Atmospheric Pressure: Collapsing a Metal Container

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Summary

Atmospheric pressure causes the collapse of a four gallon metal can. The 4 thumbnail images summarize the content of the video. Click an image to see the image gallery.

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Discussion

A side-arm flask containing bromine vapor is connected to an aspirator. When the aspirator is turned on, the brown-colored vapor disappears, showing that the aspirator removes gas from the flask. A metal can attached to the flask collapses as the air is drawn out of the can.

An aspirator is a device that removes gases from closed containers. This aspirator is removing bromine vapor from the filter flask. The filter flask is connected to a four-gallon metal can via a one-holed stopper with a glass tube hose fitting. As bromine vapor is being removed from the flask, air is also being removed from the can. Once sufficient air has been removed from inside the can, atmospheric pressure crushes the can and eventually squeezes it into a much smaller volume than at the beginning. Atmospheric pressure is about 14.7 pounds per square inch, enough to crush a strong metal can or to support a column of water about 30 feet high.

Keywords

Phases / Phase Transitions / Diagrams | Gases

These ChemEd DL Resource Groups Include This Video

Atmospheric Pressure
Atmosphere
Properties of Gases


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