Show Me Some Science! Low Temperature Boiling

Watch liquid nitrogen boil in a kettle!

What’s Happening?

We’ve all seen boiling water before. Boiling occurs when a liquid evaporates (changes phase into a gas), and bubbles through the rest of the liquid. When water boils, the bubbles you see are water vapor, which is also called steam. We all know that water boils at about 100 Celsius, but Nitrogen which makes up most of the air boils at -195 Celsius! That’s so cold it can boil even when it’s on ice! The bubbles are filled with nitrogen gas, pretty much just air!