Nuclear Museum at-home experiment allows you to create a ‘cloud in a bottle’

Local News

WATCH: Full interview with David Gibson, museum educator at Nuclear Museum of Science & History

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is now open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is following COVID-safe protocols. Visitors over the age of two-years-old are asked to wear face masks and guests are encouraged to use the museum’s remote ticketing options to manage the museum’s capacity and limit contact.

As Halloween approaches, Museum Educator David Gibson shows how you can do a fun experiment at home with the kids this year. David demonstrates how to create a cloud in a bottle using simple household items.

Materials needed:

  • Safety glasses
  • 1-liter, clear plastic bottle
  • Air pump
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rubber stopper or cork
  • Metal inflation tube

This experiment requires adult supervision. First, put on your safety goggles, David then starts the experiment by using the one-liter clear plastic soda bottle.

He pours a small amount of rubbing alcohol inside the bottle so that it puddles at the bottom and then replaces the bottle’s cap and shakes it, making sure it coats the lower sides of the bottle. Insert the metal inflation tube through the rubber stopper or cork.

The tip of the tube goes inside the bottle and the pump connection stays on the outside. Attach the pump to the inflation tube.

Insert the stopper into the bottle and pump eight to 10 times making sure the stopper cannot pop out. Quickly remove the stopper and watch how a cloud will form instantly. An explanation of the science behind the “cloud” can be found along with more experiments on the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History’s YouTube channel.

For more information about the museum, visit nuclearmuseum.org.

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