Nano Ice Cream

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In this activity/demo, learners discover how liquid nitrogen cools a creamy mixture at such a rapid rate that it precipitates super fine grained (nano) ice cream. This is a fun (and tasty!) way for learners to discover the nanoworld! Note: this activity should be conducted by adults only.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 T vanilla
  • 1 liter of Liquid Nitrogen
  • Metal mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Heavy gloves
  • Goggles
  • Spoons, napkins, small cups for serving


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
      • Thermodynamics and Entropy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • taste

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0532536
  • National Science Foundation, 0940143