Science, Tech, Math › Science Dry Ice Crystal Ball Bubble Share Flipboard Email Print Science Activities for Every Subject Introduction Weather Make a Storm Glass to Predict the Weather Make a Simple Weather Barometer Make Real Snow Make a Cloud in a Bottle Determine Why the Sky Is Blue Food and Cooking Determine Vitamin C by Iodine Titration Make Biodiesel From Vegetable Oil Test for Protein in Food Experiment With Fruit Ripening and Ethylene See How Much Sugar Is in Soda Fire and Smoke Make Colored Fire Make a Smoke Bomb Make Chemical Fire Perform Magic Tricks With Fire Make a Sparkler Bubbles Make Bubbles That Don't Pop Make Glowing Bubbles Make a Giant Bubble Using Dry Ice Make a Bubble Rainbow Crystals Grow Bismuth Crystals Grow a Big Alum Crustal Grow a Borax Crystal Snowflake Grow Copper Sulfate Crystals Grow Table Salt or Sodium Chloride Crystals Chemical Reactions Build a Baking Soda Volcano Make Sulfuric Acid at Home Make Homemade Dry Ice Make Hydrogen Gas Make "Elephant Toothpaste" A dry ice bubble looks like a foggy crystal ball. Tetra Images / Getty Images By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 16, 2018 All you need to make this giant bubble is dry ice, bubble solution, and either a little water or else tonic water and a black light (glowing liquid). You can make the bubble itself glow if you add a little highlighter ink to the bubble solution. The dry ice sublimates to form carbon dioxide gas, which expands the bubble. Watch the video tutorial of this project. Materials dry icebubble solutionwater (or tonic water and a black light, if you want glowing liquid)glass or dish Make a Dry Ice Bubble Pour some water or tonic water into the container.Add a piece of dry ice. The dry ice will make bubbles in the liquid.Spread a film of bubble solution around the lip of the container.Use your hand or a piece of paper towel that has been wetted with bubble solution to smear bubble solution across the top of the container. I made a video of the project so you can see what to expect. How It Works Dry ice sublimates in air, meaning the solid carbon dioxide makes the transition to carbon dioxide gas. This process occurs much more quickly in water than in air. As the dry ice sublimates, the carbon dioxide vapor is caught inside the bubble solution. The bubble expands, but the cooled bubble solution does not evaporate quickly so the bubble lasts for a relatively long time. Sometimes conditions are right for the bubble to stabilize at a given size. This happens because carbon dioxide is able to diffuse across the bubble surface. Sublimating carbon dioxide expands the bubble, but when the bubble expands its walls become thinner and leak more. Since more carbon dioxide can escape, the pressure is reduced and the bubble has a tendency to shrink back again. As long as the solution doesn't evaporate too quickly, the bubble may remain relatively stable until the dry ice is nearly gone. At that point the bubble will become smaller.