Incredibly (and literally) cool: liquid nitrogen in a vacuum

Most of us are familiar with liquid nitrogen; either we’ve seen it at the doctor’s office when we’ve needed a pesky wart removed, or we’ve seen a cryogenics demonstration at a museum or at school or on YouTube where they do such fun things as dip a carnation into it to show how it freezes and becomes amazingly brittle.

But this one will probably be new to you.  It certainly was to me.  Liquid oxygen, placed into a vacuum chamber.  It boils vigorously, of course, but then something surprising happens — followed by something amazing.  The evaporation of N2 cools the remaining liquid enough that it freezes, and *then* it crystalizes, suddenly.  It’s beautiful; check it out!


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Filed under Cool Stuff, Science

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