Throughout our experiment, we continuously used dry ice to act as the coolant for the Cloud Chamber. Never using dry ice before, curiosity and excitement filled our heads. Why is dry ice dangerous or how long does dry ice last? What is it used for? After doing further research about dry ice, we discovered that dry ice is frozen carbon. To create dry ice, the carbon goes through a process of extreme heating and cooling while under extreme pressure. The only way to be this curiosity to an end was to experiment with this unique material. First, we decided to see the effect dry ice has on water. We took a graduated cylinder and dumped dry ice onto the bottom and filled it with water. What seemed to be smoke rising from the cylinder was actually water vapor. The reason that we knew that it was water vapor and not carbon dioxide is because carbon dioxide is invisible to the naked eye. The water vapor comes out of the water because the the dry ice combines with the water to create the fog that you can see. The smoke kept billowing until the water cooled down, but once we put more hot water in the cylinder, it started up again.
Another thing we did with dry ice was that we put a quarter on a piece of dry ice. The result was very interesting. The heat of the quarter easily sliced through the ice. But what was really cool was the sound it made. The sound it makes was a buzzing noise until the quarter cooled down. It was very satisfying. Dry ice can be used for a variety of things but the most common use is for freezing and keeping things cold. That is why we used dry ice for our experiment. The dry ice we had was used to cool off the chamber.