Why is a Balloon Pop Loud?

A fully inflated balloon will pop loudly. This is caused by the high stress put on the latex or membrane. The stress will cause it to crack quickly, which will cause a shock wave. This shock wave is similar to a mini sonic boom. On the other hand, a soft balloon will not pop as loudly.

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EM force creates a covalent bond

The sound of a balloon popping is made when the air pressure inside it contracts and breaks the covalent bond. This difference in pressure causes a wave to form, which travels to our ears. That wave is called the soundwave, and it is the energy that is perceived.

Covalent bonds are stronger than ionic bonds. Covalent bonds consist of atoms with opposite charges held together by strong electrostatic forces. A polar covalent bond is created when two atoms share electrons. The two types of bonds are different from one another, and they also have different properties.

It holds lattice molecules together

A balloon pop is loud because a force holds the lattice molecules together. The force makes the balloon vibrate more vigorously and the lattice expands. It is the same principle for a can being vibrated. The vibrations increase average spacings.

It can cause hearing loss

A loud balloon pop may be a harmless sound, but it can damage the inner ear. A recent study from the University of Alberta has revealed that balloon noise can lead to hearing loss over time. The researchers compared the noise caused by popping a balloon to that of a shotgun. They found that balloon noise was four decibels louder than the sound emitted by a 12-gauge shotgun. In addition, the researchers found that a single exposure to the noise is hazardous to hearing. The damage occurs when the fragile hair cells in the inner ear become worn out by the noise. Once these hair cells are gone, they are not replaced. The researchers suggest that balloon noise should be seen as akin to sun damage: the cumulative effect of exposure to noise can cause damage to the hearing.

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Children’s birthday parties often include colorful balloons. However, the loud pop caused by a balloon may damage the hearing of the child. One study from the University of Alberta shows that a balloon pop is louder than a shotgun fired near the ear. In fact, the noise is nearly as loud as a 357 magnum pistol, with a peak of 168 decibels.