posted by Nathan on .
Two balloons are filled with an equal volume of air. One is put in the refrigerator for one hour, while the other is heated in a slightly warm oven. Identify which balloon is which, and explain why.
The refrigerated one will be smaller. The heated one will be larger. Air (any gas) occupies a smaller volume when it is cooled and a larger volume when it is heated.
The balloon that is larger was in the slightly warm oven getting heated. The balloon that is smaller was in the refrigerator. When air is in cold temperatures it contracts and when air is in warm temperatures it expands.
The heated balloon is larger because when heated the molecules speed up and start to enlarge and move around more. The balloon getting frozen is smaller because the molecules slow dowwn, causing it to slightly deflate.