Homemade Hand Boiler
Are you hot enough to make water bubble with just the heat from your touch?
What would you say if we told you that you could make water boil with nothing more than your touch? Impossible, right? There is no way that the human body (≈98.6ºF) could make water boil (≈212ºF). It just can't happen. Well, you're right, but the Homemade Hand Boiler is a fun trick that you can play on an unsuspecting friend or family member. You'll even teach them a little bit about the properties of air, water, and molecules while you're at it.
- Small drinking glass
- White handkerchief or similar piece of cloth
- Rubber band
- Unsuspecting friend
- Food coloring (optional)
- Fill a small, clear drinking glass nearly full with water.
- Cover the top of the glass with a white handkerchief, or similar piece of cloth, and fix it in place with a rubber band.
- Place your hand over the cloth and quickly turn the glass over so that the cloth is facing down and remove your hand. No water will come out! (For an entire experiment on why this works, see the Mysterious Water Suspension experiment.)
- With the cloth still facing down, ask a friend to take two fingers and warm them up by rubbing them on their sleeve.
- Ask your friend to hold their fingers beneath the cloth (they don't even need to touch it).
- While your friend's fingers are below the cloth, push down on the glass with one hand while pulling up on the cloth with the other.
- The water inside of the cup will begin to boil!
Take It Further!
Want to take the visual effects of the Homemade Hand Boiler even further? Put a few drops of food coloring in the water! Just make sure that you are using a piece of cloth that you don't mind staining, as food coloring stains fabrics.
How does it work?
Homemade Hand Boiler
September 18th, 2012
Click the thumbnail below to see the video.
Kimball C. - September 20, 2012
I don't believe it is boiling! I believe air is passing through the cloth. If this is not the case how do you explain boiling at room temperature and pressure?