Page last updated at 07:29 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

What happens when a balloon explodes?


What happens when a balloon explodes?

Dr Yan Wong, presenter from BBC One's Bang Goes The Theory finds out with the help of a super slow motion camera capturing 2,700 frames per second.

The first test showed how the air inside a balloon is put under pressure when it is being blown up, and the molecules in the latex are stretched.

But when they cannot stretch any more the balloon's latex tears itself apart.

Each piece shrinks, making a noise, if pieces move faster than the speed of sound.

In the second experiment, it can be seen how compressed air inside the balloon expands when it is popped, pushing smoke in one direction - similar to an explosion.

The programme returns on Mondays, 1930GMT from 15 March. Watch more clips or catch up via the BBC iPlayer at the Bang Goes The Theory website.


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