OPERATION: Self-Inflating Balloon aka “Thermodynamics”

OPERATION: Self-Inflating Balloon aka "Thermodynamics"



The First Law of Thermodynamics, in its simplest form, states matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed by natural means. Prior to Einstein, the two conservation laws (energy and mass) were independent.  With the recognition that mass was a form of energy (E=MC2), the First Law of Thermodynamics includes mass as a form of energy.  Believing the Universe and everything it contains came from nothing, by natural processes, violates this fundamental law of science.



  • 100 ml white vinegar (about 6.5 Tablespoons)
  • 10 g baking soda (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 500ml plastic water bottle (everyday small water bottle)
  • 1 balloon
  • plastic spoon
  • funnel
  • scale or balance
  • paper towels


  1. Add 100ml of vinegar to the 500 mL plastic water bottle.
  2. Stretch your balloon out for about a minute so that it will inflate easily.
  3. Using the white plastic spoon, add 3 level teaspoons of baking soda to your balloon.  (Use the funnel to avoid spilling)
  4. While keeping all the baking soda in the balloon, carefully place the mouth of the balloon over the opening of the plastic water bottle to make a tight seal.  The balloon will hang to the side of the bottle. ***Do not allow any of the baking soda to enter the bottle.***
  5. Use your scale to find the mass of the “closed system” (bottle, vinegar, balloon, and baking soda) and record in the Data Table.
  6. While the balloon is still attached to the bottle, lift the balloon so the baking soda falls into the bottle and combines with the vinegar.  Swirl gently.
  7. Record & draw observations.
  8. Use your scale to find the mass of the “closed system” once the chemical reaction has completed. ***Be sure to keep balloon attached***
  9. Record the info into the data table.



What evidence did you observe to indicate a chemical reaction took place?

  • What happened chemically in this experiment is represented in the chemical equation below:
  • NaHCO3   +   CH3COOH          is now           NaOOCCH3   +   H20   +   CO2
  • (Baking Soda)   (Vinegar)        is now          (Sodium Acetate)       (Water)    (Carbon Dioxide)

You can observe from the chemical equation above that no new elements were created.

  •  Knowing this, explain where the gas came from?



This simple experiment can give us confidence that God’s Word is not in opposition with science but the contrary; science continues to confirm God’s Word is true.  The First Law of Thermodynamics tells us the Universe could not have come from nothing by natural processes.

  • Explain why you can boldly accept a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”?

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