what is the hypothesis of dry ice causing an explosion when put inside a bottle of water?

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jerichorayel's profile pic

jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Dry ice is the common name for frozen carbon dioxide which is used for food preservation or refrigeration. The temperature of dry ice is around −78.5 degree C (-109.3 degree F) and sublimes into gas at normal atmospheric conditions. For experimentation purposes, dry ice is placed inside a plastic bottle and the explosion is anticipated. The main hypothesis that can be drawn in this experiment is connected with the pressure building up inside the bottle as the dry ice starts to sublimate. However, the explosion of the bottle is dependent on the amount of dry ice that is placed inside the bottle. When you place a small amount of ice relative to what the bottle can hold, there will be no explosion. When you place more than what the bottle can hold, there will be explosion.

The hypothesis can be stated in many ways such as:

The explosion of dry ice in the bottle is due to the pressure building from the expansion of gas that sublimes.  

If you place dry ice in the bottle more that the amount of expanded carbon dioxide gas it can hold, there will be an explosion happening. 

To test your hypothesis, you need to perform the experiment. Note that there is a danger in performing the dry ice bomb experiment. Please be guided accordingly.

Sources:
aeherb3's profile pic

aeherb3 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Hi there,

When constructing a hypothesis, you will always want to show a prediction of the relationship between the independent and the dependent (or responding) variable.  A hypothesis is most easily constructed by first identifying the Independent (iv)and the Dependent (dv) variable.  In the case of this question, the independent variable, or the factor that you're choosing to change, could be many things.  It could be the amount of the dry ice, it could be the presence of the dry ice, etc. etc., thus changing the the dependent variable.  I will show you an example below:

IV-The amount of dry iceDV- the size of the explosion

Hypothesis- If increasing amounts of dry ice is added to a 20 oz bottle of water, then the size of the explosion will increase. 

In this case, you stated the independent and dependent variables and predicted a relationship between the two.

      Disclaimer- As will any experiment, please be sure to make safety a top priority- it can be dangerous to deal with   dry ice if not properly handled. 

Happy experimenting!

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