4A40.30b-Smashing Fruit

Description: This demonstration shows how the properties of fruit change at low temperatures.


  • Fruit (apple works good)
  • LN2
  • Large Pan w/Styrofoam
  • Tongs
  • Protective gloves
  • (Optional) Hammer

Demonstration Procedure:

  1. Demonstrate that hitting the fruit with a hammer (or dropping it) will do almost nothing to the fruit.
  2. Fill the pan with LN2.
  3. Drop the piece of fruit into the pan.
  4. Wait a few minutes for the fruit to cool down.
  5. Take the fruit out using the tongs.
  6. Smash the apple by dropping it, smashing it with the hammer, or other means.

Liquid Nitrogen Liquid Nitrogen
Use caution when working with liquid nitrogen, as it is very cold.


  • Be sure to use ALL the protective gear when using the LN2; Safety glasses, cryogenic gloves, and aprons should be worn whenever handling LN2
  • Avoid any direct skin contact with the LN2, as it is cold enough to cause cryogenic burns and frostbite.
  • The tongs and the pan will both be very cold from being in contact with the LN2; be sure to use the gloves when handling the tongs, the pan, and anything you freeze even after it’s out of contact with the LN2.
  • When freezing the fruit, be sure to either completely submerge it, or flip it over, to fully freeze the fruit
  • This can be done with things other than fruit as well; there are rubber corks that become solid enough to hammer into wood when frozen through the LN2, for example.
  • Any means of applying force to the apple will cause it to shatter; a dramatic way to smash it could be to throw it against the wall.