When the flowers are frozen in liquid nitrogen, they become brittle and shatter like glass!


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Teachable Topics:

  • cryogenics
  • biological freezing
  • lost love

Theory:

All plants need water to survive. This being the case, a flower has a lot of water in it.  When water turns to ice, it becomes very hard and brittle. Since water has a much higher freezing point than liquid nitrogen, the water can be frozen very quickly when the two liquids come in contact with each other.

When a flower is immersed in liquid nitrogen, all the water in the flower will freeze almost instantly. Once the water in the flower has frozen, the flower itself becomes very rigid and brittle. When the flower is smashed, you can see just how fragile it has become.


Apparatus:

  • flowers 
  • liquid nitrogen
  • tongs

Procedure:

  1. Pick up a flower with tongs and dunk it in a container of liquid nitrogen.
  2. Wait until boiling stops (shouldn't take more than 10 seconds).
  3. Raise the flower out of the liquid nitrogen and drop it on the ground or smash it with the tongs.

Safety:

Be very careful when using liquid nitrogen. Always wear safety goggles and cryogenic gloves when handling.