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Liquid Nitrogen Definition

Liquid nitrogen is a very cold liquid made from nitrogen gas. It is used to freeze things very quickly.

View Lesson on Particle Nature of Matter
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Particle Nature of Matter

Fun Facts

  • Liquid nitrogen is -321 degrees Fahrenheit (-196 degrees Celsius).
  • Solid carbon dioxide falls out when cutting open a balloon cooled with liquid nitrogen.
  • Liquid nitrogen changes carbon dioxide directly from solid to gas without becoming liquid first.

Why Do We Need To Know About Liquid Nitrogen

Learning about liquid nitrogen helps us see how important it is in many areas. Liquid nitrogen is super cold, at -321 degrees Fahrenheit (-196 degrees Celsius), and is used for quickly freezing things. Chefs use it to make special frozen desserts, and doctors use it to preserve biological samples safely.

This cold substance is also key in science experiments, space missions, and studying the environment. It helps scientists understand how gases act when they’re really cold and is used in creating technology that works at very low temperatures. Liquid nitrogen is useful in a lot of different fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would a soccer ball that has been left out in the cold go flat?
A soccer ball that is filled with air can go flat when air particles in it take up less space. This can happen if you inflate the ball indoors but then play outside in cold weather.
What is the smallest possible unit of a type of matter called and about how big is it?
The smallest possible unit of matter is called a particle. Particles of matter are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. They cannot be seen, but we can detect them.
Why did 500 mL of water combined with 500 mL of alcohol add up to only 970 mL of total liquid? Use the particle model of matter to explain.
The liquid volume decreased because the water particles can fit into the spaces between the larger alcohol particles. This makes them take up less space (volume). To model this difficult concept, Dr. Jeff uses ping pong balls to represent large molecules and red beads to represent smaller particles that can fill the space between the ping pong balls.
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