Soda can experiments have been fascinating people for years. Something about smelling that delicious smell of carbon mixed with a giant jet of soda always makes people excited. Not only are soda experiments fun, but they also are a great way to teach science principles such as gas laws and types of chemical reactions.
Two main types of soda explosions include the often accidental exploding can trick, and the classic Mentos and Diet Coke method. Here you will find instructions on both, and it will be up to you to decide which method you like best!
This Instructable was made at my cousins house, where there is a great stone patio which is optimal for these two experiments.
Step 1: Can Bomb-Materials
The exploding can experiment demonstrates one of the key laws of physical science in the behavior of gases. The Gay-Lussac's Law states that for a set amount of gas with a constant volume, the pressure will increase or decrease as the temperature increases or decreases. Therefore our hypothesis is that if a can of soda is heated enough, the carbon gas inside will expand, causing pressure to rise and make the can, which doesn't change in volume, explode.
For the exploding can experiment you will need:
-A portable plug in stovetop or outdoor fire.
-Can(s) of cheap soda (no need to waste the good stuff).
-Extension cord (optional).
-A safe hiding spot at least ten feet away from the test site. (Sometimes shrapnel can break off of the can, so I watched from behind a tree).
Step 2: Exploding Can- Setup
Plug in the stove at least three feet from a wall on a raised flat surface. Set the temperature to "high." Be extremely careful around the hot coils of the stovetop. You can get badly burned.
Step 3: Exploding Can- Initiation
Shake up the soda can and place it on the stove. Make sure it is in a stable position! Then, get to your hiding spot.