This version (2016/04/28 01:08) was approved by svrijn.The Previously approved version (2014/09/08 22:41) is available.Diff

Cork Cannon


In this experiment, a cork is fired from a tube by pressure from evaporating liquid nitrogen.

Description of the Experiment

First, place the tube on the table with the opening at the top. Next, fill it with some liquid nitrogen. As the tube will still be at room temperature, the liquid nitrogen will boil violently at first. If you wait for the tube to cool down, the experiment will be a lot less spectacular, so this poses no problem.

Once there is liquid nitrogen in the tube, hold the cork loosely above the opening, then hit it once with the rubber hammer. After you've hit the cork, let go of the cork but hold the tube steady now. As the tube is now closed, the pressure will build and within seconds, the cork will shoot off towards the ceiling. Depening on the size of your tube, this can be repeated several times. It is not advised to hit the cork multiple times, because if it shoots out in between hits it will likely bounce off of your hammer and shoot into the audience.

Safety Information

A few safety issues:

- As the corks will fly upwards, check if you're performing the experiment underneath a lamp as the cork can easily reach heigths of about 10m.

- When the pressure drops, a cork can remain stuck in the tube. If this happends, turn it away from the audience and slowly try to remove it.

- Standard safety when dealing with liquid nitrogen also applies

Equipment and materials


- A rubber hammer (rubber so the corks won't be damaged)

- Corks (e.g. 25mm diameter)

- Solid/thick tube (e.g. 25mm diameter)

- Liquid Nitrogen


Performed by

experiments/cork_cannon.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/28 01:08 by svrijn
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