Looking up in the sky you can see clouds of various shapes and sizes. These ethereal shapes are often difficult to understand. Bring the mystery down to earth by creating your own cloud in a bottle. Just follow these simple steps to create clouds at home.
- Rinse the bottle with tap water. Empty the bottle of all soda and rinse it with warm water. Don’t use soap because it can interfere with the cloud formation.
- Pour warm water into the bottle. Pour two capfuls of water into the bottle then replace the cap.
- Shake the bottle. As you shake the bottle droplets should adhere to the sides. Pour out any excess water.
- Light a match and drop it into the bottle. Shake the bottle. As you shake the bottle the match will smoke then extinguish. The smoke and ash that is created by the match becomes the dust particles needed to create your cloud.
- Replace the cap. Be sure to close the bottle tightly because you will be experimenting with pressure.
- Shake the bottle. Shaking the bottle should release the water droplets from the side of the bottle and you should see small puddles of water at the bottom of the bottle.
- Create changes in pressure. Once the bottle is sealed, squeeze and release the plastic to create a fluctuation in the air pressure inside the bottle. Be sure to squeeze as hard as you can in the center of the bottle several times in order to create the pressure changes. This will also create a slight temperature change that causes some of the water to start evaporating into a vapor.
- Check out the clouds. Now that you have created changes in pressure, you should begin to see a cloud forming in the bottle. If the vapor is pale it may be hard to see if the bottle is in a well lit room so if you don’t see anything move to a dimmer area and repeat step seven to increase pressure. Check out the amazing weather you have created.
Clouds need three key ingredients to form – dust particles, water and pressure changes. By combining these in your plastic bottle, you can create a variety of cloud formations. Experiment with different amounts of water or pressure to create different types of clouds. You may even consider using larger dust particles from your living room instead of those created by the match. Just try to have fun and be creative so you can create clouds in a bottle whenever you want.