SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 419: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 419

10. An empty soda can with a few ml of water inside is heated to steaming and quickly inverted into an ice water bath. The can is instantly crushed because

A. energy in the can is lost.
B. water vapor condenses leaving a vacuum, which sucks the can in.
C. water vapor condenses and outside air pressure crushes the can.
D. the cold water shrinks the hot can.
E. water pressure in the ice bath crushes the can

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

The correct answer is (C). The water vapor in the can is hot and at atmospheric pressure. Cooling the can quickly condenses the water vapor, which also reduces the pressure inside the can. The outside atmospheric pressure is greater, thus crushing the can.

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