From’s 101Things To Do This Summer newsletter, Summer 2013 edition, comes our # 93 suggestion – Find out how a hot air balloon works. Depending on where you live, maybe you can watch one take off.  They’re surprisingly noisy!

Wondering how a hot air balloon works?  Well, hot air balloons are based on a basic scientific principle: hot air is lighter than cool air–it has less mass per unit of volume, and because of this, hot air rises.

A cubic foot of air weighs about an ounce. If you heat that air by 100 degrees F, it weighs about 7 grams less (7 grams = 0.246918 of an ounce). So, each cubic foot of air in a hot air balloon can lift about 7 grams. That’s why hot air balloons have to be SO big — to lift 1,000 pounds, you need about 65,000 cubic feet of hot air.

Want to learn more?  Check’s 101 Things To Do This Summer newsletter for an appropriate link.

Fun!  And fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Browse Categories