How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?

Published on December 27, 2022 by

Have you ever wondered how a hot air balloon floats up in the sky? Join Sarah Gullickson as she unfolds this mystery. Air is composed of matter, which includes anything that takes up space. It is a general principle that molecules of air move faster when heated. When a hot air balloon is on the ground, the temperature inside the balloon is similar to the temperature outside. Once the pilot turns on the flame, the balloon gets heated up. Upon heating, molecules of air start to bounce around and spread out. This makes the air inside balloon less dense, which is why it floats up in the air. In order to bring the balloon back on ground, the pilot releases hot air from the top of balloon.  Its wonderful how something so big can be carried by tiny particles.

This video satisfies the 5-PS1-1 requirement of fifth-grade science proficiency.

Students who demonstrate understanding can:  5-PS1-1. Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

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