Balloonists like the Montgolfier brothers thought you had to fill a balloon with smoke. But James Sadler knew they were wrong – you needed a gas less dense than air. So what did Sadler know about the physics of making a balloon fly? What gadget did he invent to help his balloons work? And what gases do we use today to make balloons fly, and why?
The power of air: use an Airzooka to send a vortex of air blasting across the room, and see how air might be invisible, but it has mass and substance. Fill the Airzooka with smoke, and you can see the vortex made by the air.
Air maze: for younger visitors, see the power of air to push balls around our maze of tubes.
Solid to gas: before your very eyes, see a lump of solid carbon dioxide turn straight into gas, creating swirling, misty patterns – and learn about the different states of matter.
The right gas for the job: in this fun interactive game, compete against other visitors to select a suitable gas for your balloon – avoiding those that are too heavy, too expensive, or too explosive!