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Q & A: Deforming Eggs

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Most recent answer: 01/25/2011
Q:
can an egg be moldabel
- Vicente carrillo (age 10)
rialto,california,usa
A:
Hi Vicente,

I'm a little unsure about your question, but I think you're asking if an egg can be made to change its shape. The answer to this depends on the egg. In the form you would buy them from a grocery store, eggs are very easy to break, and will break if you try to mold them. However, for a hard-boiled egg the answer is yes: testing this can be a really fun experiment to try with an adult!

You and the adult need a hard-boiled egg, peeled. You also need a bottle with a long, narrow neck and two matches. Have your adult light the two matches and put them in the bottle. Quickly put the egg on top. The egg will deform, and squeeze in through the bottle top into the container!

So what's going on here? When the matches are lit, they heat up the air in the bottle, which raises the air pressure. This extra pressure pushes some air out of the bottle, so when you put the egg on top there is less air in the bottle than when you started. Once the matches go out, the air begins to cool, so the pressure goes down in the bottle. Now the air pressure is larger on the top of the egg, so the air pushes the egg down, causing it to deform and slide through the bottle top.

Thanks for the question, and have fun experimenting!
-Ben

(published on 01/25/2011)

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