What would happen to a balloon if it was blown up in a classroom and then taken to the top of Mount Everest? What would happen when it came back down?
Katrina, I happen to know the answer to this question... not by having climbed Mount Everest, but by my experience flying. We have an altitude chamber on the base, that allows one to simulate altitudes. Routinely we make the pressure in the chamber equal to that at the top of Everest (approx. 29,028 ft). For fun we have balloons taped to the ceiling so that you may observe what is also happening to the partial pressures inside your body. Many people feel the need to burp quite a bit as the altitude goes up and the pressure goes down. Remember that p1v1=p2v2. In a closed system: If the pressure is lowered, than the volume must increase. Therefore, when the pressure goes down, the balloons get larger and larger. They may even pop, depending on how full they were to start with. But if they don't pop, when the pressure went back up (you climbed back down to the classroom)... then the balloon would go back to it's normal size.
Frank DiBonaventuro, B.S., Air Force Officer, Physics Major, The Citadel
'In a way science is a key to the gates of heaven, and the same key opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to which is which gate.
Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to enter the gates of heaven? Or shall we struggle with the problem of which is the best way to use the key?'