Plymouth Uni researchers in liquid nitrogen balls-up

They blew up a bin full of ping-pong balls for science

Plymouth University scientists have posted a video online in which they fill a bin with ping pong balls and watch it explode.

In the Brainiac-like experiment, a plastic bin containing warm water is topped up with liquid nitrogen and then filled with ping-pong balls.

The resulting explosion is then played back in glorious slow motion, although the scientific benefit is left unclear.

In a description on the university website, Media & Communications Officer Alan Williams said: “What happens when you place liquid nitrogen in a container filled with 1,650 ping-pong balls?”

“That may not be a question asked every day, but scientists at Plymouth University have staged just such an experiment to inspire people about the power of science.”

The experiment, which is intended to convince aspiring chemists to study at Plymouth, was staged in front of an audience of understandably confused international students.


The university hope the experiment “will ignite public imagination with regard to other areas where science impacts on everyday life”, although it is unclear how often in “everyday life” they expect Plymouth freshers to come across exploding bins full of ping-pong balls.

You can never be too careful.

University of Plymouth experiment explosion plymouth science scientists uni