When I was in 10th grade, my chemistry teacher took a latex glove, wrapped the wrist around the top of a dowel and put it in a vacuum chamber. As the air drained from the chamber, the glove started to blow up (1). Once the air was completely drained, the glove kept expanding until it popped. It wasn’t a normal pop though. We watched it grow, saw it pop, but didn’t hear a thing (2). After the demo, my teacher had us talk about what happened, and our questions like, “Where did the air that blew up the glove come from?” and “Why couldn’t we hear the latex glove pop?” were answered.
(1) Vacuums are strong. And what makes them so strong, curiously enough, is what they lack…Matter. The stuff that makes up stuff. So how does this magically blow up an empty glove? I’m glad you asked. When my teacher wrapped the wrist of the glove around the dowel, she actually trapped a small amount of air in the glove. Now, just so you have an accurate idea of where we’re at so far, for all intensive purposes we would naturally consider this glove empty of air. She squeezed it in her hand before wrapping the wrist around the dowel. However, empty isn’t actually empty unless you’re talking about a vacuum. So when the vacuum chamber outside the glove was drained of air, the small amount that was trapped inside the glove acted like a proper gas and expanded to fill it’s container. To avoid getting too nit-picky, I’ll say this as fast and as efficiently as I can. The glove is not considered the container for the air which is trapped inside. The glass dome that encloses the whole vacuum chamber is considered the container since it doesn’t expand like the latex of the glove does. It’s as simple as that. The gas inside the glove expanded to fill it’s container. So that’s how a lack of matter leads to an abundance of matter.
(2) We watched it grow, saw it pop, but didn’t hear a thing. Wait—last time I checked, latex balloons make a sound when they pop. So how can a latex glove pop and not make a sound? Science, my friend, science. Sound waves vibrate the air like ripples in a pond vibrate the water. So when it comes to sound, substitute the water with the air that we breathe. We hear our cell phones ring, our alarm clocks buzz, and the horns in our cars all because the sound they make vibrates the air and that vibration travels to our ears. To understand the lack of noise when the glove popped, just reverse that concept. The glove blew up because of the lack of air outside it. And that lack of air gave the sound waves nothing to travel through so those vibrations never reached our ears.