JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – You’ve most likely popped a balloon before using a sharp object or even by hitting it with something. Have you ever popped a balloon with an orange? If not, today we will!
So, let’s get started.
GRAB YOUR INGREDIENTS: a knife, an orange, balloons
NOTE: You’ll want to have adult supervision when using the knife.
STEP 1: Blow up some balloons
STEP 2: Cut a piece of the orange off
NOTE: All you need for this is the rind, so be sure to scoop out the inside of your piece after you cut it.
STEP 3: Squeeze the rind over the balloon and – pop!!
Science behind this experiment: What happened here? All we did was squeeze a little orange juice onto the balloon, right?
Something called limonene exists in the rind of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes.
Limonene is a hydrocarbon which means it’s made up mostly of carbon. But, it’s also a non-polar molecule meaning the electron density is spread evenly throughout the molecule. The same goes for latex. Latex is also made of carbons that are non-polar. These together means that the limonene from the orange peel can easily migrate through the latex.
Since the balloon is blown up, the latex is stretched thin and there is a high pressure inside. When the limonene touches the stretched latex, it gets weak and the balloon easily pops.