“Magical transformation” experiment

How to make plastic bottle contract

We’d like to show you a trick: how to trans­form a bot­tle through the “pow­er of thought”!

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • plas­tic bot­tle;
  • sodi­um bi­car­bon­ate;
  • acetic acid;
  • sodi­um hy­drox­ide;
  • match­es.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Sprin­kle sodi­um bi­car­bon­ate into the bot­tle, then add acetic acid. Wait un­til the gas bub­ble stop be­ing re­leased. Test the pres­ence of gas with a match. If it goes out by the neck of the bot­tle, then the bot­tle is com­plete­ly full. Add sodi­um hy­drox­ide. Seal the bot­tle and shake it a cou­ple of times. The bot­tle will start to con­tract.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

In the in­ter­ac­tion of sodi­um bi­car­bon­ate and acetic acid, sodi­um ac­etate, wa­ter and car­bon diox­ide are re­leased. Car­bon diox­ide does not sup­port com­bus­tion, so the match goes out. When sodi­um hy­drox­ide is dis­solved, a great amount of heat is re­leased, and the bot­tle melts slight­ly. In the in­ter­ac­tion of sodi­um hy­drox­ide and car­bon diox­ide, sodi­um bi­car­bon­ate forms. The amount of gas in the bot­tle de­creas­es, and the bot­tle con­tracts un­der the im­pact of ex­ter­nal pres­sure.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Wear pro­tec­tive gloves and glass­es. Sodi­um hy­drox­ide is a caus­tic sub­stance that caus­es burns.

Warn­ing! Don’t try to re­peat this ex­per­i­ment with­out a pro­fes­sion­al su­per­vi­sion!