Chemistry in Action - The Potato Cannon

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Potato cannons are incredibly fun. Whether you say potato or potatah, blowing the root vegetable to bits is truly a blast. However, because they utilize combustion to fire an object at high speeds, they can be very dangerous. Well, worry no more because you can play it safe and watch Professor Gordon Yee as he demonstrates his potato cannon in today's free Chemistry in Action video. Our Chemistry course is full of these videos that demo chemistry in action. They'll help you understand concepts you just learned by seeing them applied in the real world.

The beauty of a potato cannon is that it works due to gas laws. When you fire the cannon, the expansion of the fuel after it ignites within the tube forces the potato out of the tubing. This expansion is a result of Charles's Law and Avogadro's Law. In Charles's Law, for a given amount of gas at a constant pressure, the volume is directly proportional to the temperature.  Avogadro's Law states that at constant temperature and pressure, the volume of a gas is directly proportional to the number of moles of gas. So watch today's video and see how when you combine these concepts you'll end up with an explosive cannon that will propel potato-bits at rather impressive speeds and distances.


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This page contains a single entry by April Stockwell published on November 1, 2010 1:38 PM.

Algebra 1 - Solving Rational Equations was the previous entry in this blog.

Chemistry in Action - The Electric Pickle is the next entry in this blog.

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