Time for your Sunday Science Tidbit and this week we are making homemade clouds-in-a-bottle!

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 2 liter soda bottle (or a bottle with a sports cap works best!)

– a cup with warm water

– a match / matchbook

Sounds simple enough so far right?

Here’s the step to get the cloud-in-a-bottle

1) pour just a little water into your bottle (this allows the bottle to get some moisture aka. humidity)

2) light a match and blow it out (you want the smoke because it creates little nuclei for a cloud droplet)

3) get some of the smoke in the bottle and put the used match in the cup of water

4) close the bottle

5) begin to squeeze and release the bottle repeatedly and a cloud will begin to appear!

See the video above to see the experiment!

What’s happening?

The bottle increases humidity (aka more water in the air of the bottle). The smoke particles act as little bitty centers for the cloud droplets. When we squeeze the bottle, we drop the pressure inside the bottle resulting in a drop in the temperature inside the bottle. The temperature drops to the point where condensation occurs and you see a cloud. When you release the bottle, you raise the inside pressure, raise the inside temperature and condensation can no longer.

~ Meteorologist Candice Boling

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