Glass Bottle Vacuum




Here I am going to show how to make a vacuum with a glass bottle and a water.


-Glass Bottle
-Microwave or Stove

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Step 1: Boiling Water

For step one, you have to fill a bowl and put it on the stove or in a microwave to boil.  (do not put glass on stove!  Use a metal pot.)  I used a Pyrex boil in the Microwave because it is easier to pour with.

Step 2: Pouring the Water

Next, you will pour the Hot/Boiling water into the glass bottle.  Make sure to use an oven mitt when taking the glass bowl out of the microwave, and don't hold the bottle when pouring the water, it WILL spill and burn you!

Step 3: Waiting...

Let the water sit in the glass bottle for about 2-3 minutes so that the bottle can heat up.

Step 4: Stringing the Clay

While you are "waiting...", What you should do is to take the clay and roll into a string as shows above.

Step 5: Wrapping the Clay

Now you will wrap he clay around the straw to start the seal.

Step 6: Pouring the Water

Now you will pour out the water that is in the glass. (make sure not to spill the water on yourself!)

Step 7: Sealing the Bottle

Now that you have poured out the water in the bottle, you want to seal the top of the bottle with the clay and straw AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, as to not let the heat out of the bottle.  Make sure that you make the seal as tight as possible so that when the vacuum happens you don't let any cold air in.  That happened to me the first time I tried it.

Step 8: Vacuum Time!!!

Now that you have the straw in place you can now use the vacuum.  Tip the bottle upside down and put the top of the straw that is not in the bottle in the water.  Then wait a second and the water will start to shoot up into the bottle.  It will sometimes will suck the clay in to.

HAVE FUN!!!!!!


An empty bottle is never really, truly 'empty'. This is not optimism, it's a scientific fact. When a bottle isn't full of liquid, it's full of air. Emptying a bottle full of hot water leaves you with a bottle full of hot air.

Here's another scientific fact: air expands when it gets hot and shrinks when it cools down. This phenomenon is called thermal expansion and it's what causes warm air to rise and cool air to descend. Because its volume increases, the density of air decreases as it gets warmer and being less dense is what causes it to float on cooler, denser air.

When air is trapped inside a rigid and airtight vessel, however, its volume cannot increase. Heat an airtight vessel and instead of expanding, the air pressure inside goes up. Cool an airtight vessel and the pressure goes down.

Seal a hot bottle with a solid rubber stopper and no more air can enter so the pressure inside drops as the air cools down, producing what physicists call a partial vacuum. The pressure inside the bottle will remain lower than the air pressure outside until you remove the solid stopper, allowing air to rush in until the pressures are equal.

The straw provides a more entertaining way for the pressure inside and outside the bottle to equalise. As the warm air inside cools down, the falling pressure is immediately equalised by the water rising into the straw. The higher pressure outside the bottle forces the water up, which reduces the volume of air inside, which equalises the pressure. But the fountain really gets going when the cold water touches the glass. That's because it cools the bottle down a bit faster, which causes the air pressure inside to fall a bit faster, which in turn causes even more cold water to flow in even faster.

When the air temperature inside the bottle has cooled down sufficiently, the pressure inside stops falling and the fountain stops working.

The same phenomenon causes some refrigerator doors to become incredibly difficult to open again just after you've removed something or stared at the contents wondering what to eat. While the door is open, some of the cold air inside pours out onto the floor and warm rushes into the fridge to replace it. As soon as you close the door, the warm air trapped inside cools down causing the pressure to fall. Try opening the door soon after and it feels like the guardian angel looking after your waistline is trying to stop you. It's actually just the external air pressure pushing against the door. Leave it for a few minutes and the pressure inside will return to normal and the door will return to its more cooperative state. No guardian angels involved.

Some people call this fridge door effect 'suction' but whatever you do, don't say that in a room full of physicists. There'll be gaps of horror, the music will stop playing and the physicists will be staring at you like a pack of trembling zombies ready to pounce and feast on your brains. If you do find yourself in this predicament, bow your head and start edging towards the door chanting "vacuums don't suck, vacuums don't suck," apologetically, and then run for your life. Alternatively, ask them to explain the healing power of crystals and watch them run for the door.


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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago

    i tried it but i think my vaccum wasn't strong enough it was not really working as a fountain but it was just sucking water though thanks for the explanation!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think so. The water forms a another seal around the free end of the straw which causes the water to get sucked up without air getting into the bottle. So, no, I think you can only suck up liquids that will be able to create a seal.

    devin23Bill WW

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    If you do the experiment correctly it should fill up until the water level hits the top of the straw

    devin23Bill WW

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    do you mean for the set-up, or for when the experiment?

    -if you mean for the set-up you fill the bottle up all the way.
    -if you mean for when the experiment happens...(reply back if this is the one you want, i dont want to spoil it.)

    Bill WWdevin23

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I mean when you do the experiment. How full is the bottle when complete?

    Some of the vacuum is likely created by condensation of water vapor left in the bottle after you empty out the boiling hot water. But most is exactly as you say, cooling of the hot air in the bottle.

    Good work, very interesting.


    5 years ago

    boiling water and normal cold glass is a good way to end up with broken glass as glass isn't very good with thermal shock

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    yes that is true, but i actually did it a few times and was fine, but thanks for the note!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Depends on the glass. Pyrex works really well for this, which is why it's often the type of glass chosen for lab equipment.