Hooked on Science: How Santa gets down chimneys

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ever wonder how Santa gets down the chimney? You can see how he does it by using a popular science demonstration called "egg in a bottle."

Materials

* Hard boiled egg (Santa)

* Jar with a 1/2 inch round neck (chimney)

* Matches (fire)

Instructions

STEP 1: Ignite two matches and immediately place the matches into the jar.

STEP 2: Quickly put the egg on the opening of the jar and watch how Santa goes down the chimney.

Explanation

When the flames inside the bottle extinguish because of the lack of oxygen, the gas inside the jar cools. This cooling causes the pressure inside the jar to become lower than the pressure outside the jar. The higher pressure outside the jar pushes the egg -- or Santa -- into the jar -- or down the chimney. Since Santa wears fireproof clothes and boots, he can then safely place your gifts under the tree.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website www.hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments.

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