Chemistry Club with a Side of Ice Cream

Gracie Poehlman, Writer, Photographer

Hey, it says no eating in the lab on the front page of every lab safety contract EVER. So why was there ice cream in the lab?

The first Chemistry Club meeting was a big success-21 of the 36 members attended a demonstration by Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt Company. Sub Zero uses liquid nitrogen to quickly make frozen treats.

The two Sub Zero employees running the demonstration put gummi bears and flowers in liquid nitrogen, causing them to be flash-frozen and easily crushable. They said this also works with a penny, but don’t try this at home–defacing U.S. coinage (okay, destroying it) is a crime.

Liquid nitrogen can also be used to demonstrate a property of gases: temperature is directly correlated to volume. For example, if an inflated balloon is placed in something really cold (like liquid nitrogen) it will contract. The opposite is also true. If liquid nitrogen is poured into a small container, it will expand as it warms up and becomes a gas. If enough pressure builds up inside the container, boom. Sub Zero, the only food company in North Alabama that uses liquid nitrogen, has to be very careful storing it.

After all of this science, the Sub Zero employees made ice cream for everyone.