Welcome toAsk Professor Labcoatwhere children’s Museum that Atlanta answersYOURscience questions!

Our friend Liam wants to knowwhy do balloons float?


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Kate (Professor Labcoat), ours sharp, inquisitive and playful scientific research Educator, offered this answer:

Balloons float since they are filled through helium!

Balloons deserve to be filled with different types of gas.The air us breathe is made up of lots of different gasses. They are too little to view without a very powerful microscope, yet they’re everywhere!

The gasses in earth’s air are largely oxygen and also nitrogen. These gasses space pretty heavy, therefore they stay down close to the surface ar of the planet, where we live.

You are watching: Why do helium filled balloons rise in air

Other gasses are an extremely light and also will float away from the surface. One of these gasses is referred to as helium. There room pockets the helium underneath the surface of the Earth. Humans collect that helium in tanks and use it to fill up balloons!


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The helium wants to rise up, up, and away indigenous the surface ar of the planet — so her helium-filled balloon wants to float up, up and also away too! This is why a balloon that you to fill up with your own breath will certainly not float; you are filling the balloon with hefty gas instead of irradiate gas.

Thanks for her question! You deserve to #AskProfessorLabcoat your science questions onFacebook,TwitterorInstagram!


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