Heat Wave in a Jar

Heat waves also known as loo are common in summer. Heat can be generated from the suns rays. Heat can also be generated from electricity.

In this experiment we can learn how to produce heat chemically.

Materials required:

  1. Thermometer
  2. Vinegar
  3. Steel wool
  4. An empty jar with a lid


  1. Place the thermometer in the jar and close it with the lid. Wait for a few minutes. Take the thermometer reading.
  2. Take the steel wool and soak it in vinegar for a minute. Press the vinegar out. Cover the tip of the thermometer with the steel wool. Place the thermometer covered in the steel wool inside.
  3. Cover the jar with the lid and wait for a few minutes. Measure the thermometer reading.


The thermometer shows an increase in temperature.

How did it happen?

As the steel wool is soaked in vinegar, the vinegar removes the protective coating of the steel wool. This allows the iron present in the steel wool to rust. Rusting is actually a combination of oxygen with iron. When rusting happens, energy release in the form of heat occurs. The production of heat in the jar makes the mercury to expand and rise in the thermometer.