Specific Heat Capacity
Properties of Matter

Flame Balloons

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14


What you need

  • An adult (only do this experiment with a responsible adult and only hold the balloon over the flame for a short time*)
  • Two balloons
  • Some water
  • A tea light
  • Matches

Instructions

  1. Place the tea light on a flat surface and light it. Make sure it is away from anything flammable or electrical.
  2. Blow up one of the balloons and hold it over the flame. The balloon will pop!
  3. Add some water to the second balloon and then blow it up. What happens when you hold this balloon over the flame?

Results and Explanation

It doesn’t pop as the heat from the candle is transferred to the water. Water takes a long time to heat up, so it stays relatively cool and stops the rubber from getting so hot it bursts.

Specific Heat Capacity
appears in the relation ΔQ=mcΔθ
IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

New videos on forces

Our first collection of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

Find out more