Get Your Science On: Atmospheric Pressure & Marshmallows

Continuing on our theme of atmospheric pressure: We showed you how atmospheric pressure can be used to give a giant “bear hug”  and how to use atmospheric pressure to crush a metal can . This week we experiment with air pressure and marshmallows.

Marshmallows are typically made from sugar and gelatin, but one thing that doesn’t make the ingredients list is the air trapped inside. As the pressure outside the marshmallows decreases, the air inside of the marshmallows expands. What will happen if we increase the pressure outside of the marshmallows?

Spending time at high pressure can force extra air inside the marshmallows, and spending time at low pressure can cause to leak out of the marshmallows. What will happen to the marshmallows after they are allowed to return to normal atmospheric pressure?

This video features Eva Asheela, a teacher with the Education Ministry in Namibia. This partnership has been made possible by the generous support of B2Gold Namibia. More details about the Little Shop of Physics B2Gold Partnership can be found here.