4C40.10 Dry Ice Rocker


Sublimation of dry ice


A quarter set in a block of dry ice rocks back and forth due to subliming carbon dioxide flowing past it.



  • [1] Level block of dry ice
  • [1] Quarter
  • [1] Microphone
  • [1] Camera

Safety Equipment

  • [1] Safety goggles
  • [2] Safety glove

Classroom Assembly

  1. Focus the camera on dry ice.
  2. Set up the microphone.

Important Notes

  • Dry ice can cause severe burns and blindness. Do not use in spaces with bad ventilation. Use with caution.


  1. Put on your safety goggles and gloves.
  2. Firmly push the room-temperature quarter into the dry ice, edge-on. Enough dry ice should sublime away to make a shallow groove in the dry ice. Do not go too deeply.
  3. When you let go of the quarter, it should rock back and forth. Catch the sounds with the microphone.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 4C40.10
  • YouTube video of the demo here


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2020


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If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.