Homemade Vacuum Chamber
Vacuum chambers are used by physicists for a number of different reasons. In a vacuum chamber, the air is completely removed, creating an environment in which normal planetary pressure does not exist. Many computer components are made within a vacuum chamber. A homemade vacuum chamber can be used by computer hobbyists to create certain components or it can also be used to explore the properties of space by placing common objects in the chamber, vacating the air and observing the results. Many objects will expand when placed in a vacuum chamber, though the effects of the vacuum will not affect every object that is subjected to it.
How can you create a vacuum chamber out of things that can be found around the house?
- A mason jar
- A metal-cutting tool
- Super glue
- Rubber stopper with a hole through the middle
- An electric pump that is reversible so that it can suck air in or pump air out
- Various candies such as Peeps, Crème eggs, M&Ms, etc.
- (optional) Other small objects or materials
- Cut a circle in the top of the mason jar that will just fit the rubber stopper.
- Insert the rubber stopper into the top of the jar.
- Place a candy, such as a peep into the jar.
- Screw the top on tight.
- Place the nozzle of the pump into the jar through the stopper.
- Evacuate the air from the jar.
- Turn off the pump promptly. Continuing to suck in air after there is none can damage the pump.
- Take observations about the candy.
- Repeat the experiment using other candies, or other things, such as eggs, water, fruits, or CDs.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.