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Science Project: Lava Lamp

Ever wonder how a lava lamp works? All that light and slow motion liquid is so mesmerizing you may think it’s magic, but really, it’s science. And when you understand the science behind it it’s easy to make your own lava lamp!

Materials:

  • Clear bottle or jar (a liter soda bottle works well)
  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Glitter
  • 1 Alka-Seltzer tablet
  • Flashlight

Procedure:

  1. Fill the jar ¾ of the way with oil
  2. Fill the rest of the jar with water.
  3. Add food coloring until you have your desired color.
  4. Add a sprinkle of glitter.
  5. Shine the flashlight so that it lights up the liquid in the jar. For extra effect, turn the surrounding lights off.
  6. Cut the Alka-Seltzer tablet into 8 parts and drop one by one into the jar.
  7. Watch as the color blobs climb up the jar and fall back down again, just like a lava lamp!

You must have noticed that when the oil and water were added to the jar they didn’t want to mix. That is because oil is less dense than water and so it rises to the top of a oil and water mixture. So here we have these layers of oil and water and then we drop a chunk of Alka-Seltzer tablet into the mixture. What happens?

Alka-Seltzer reacts with water to release Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas, which is less dense than both oil and water. So up and up it goes through both layers of water and oil and when it reaches the surface the bubble pops and the bead of colored water falls back down. Groovy!

Though a store bought lava lamp works by heating up wax in and oil solution, this homemade Lave Lamp makes a great science project or a even just a fun experiment to do with friends.

Have Your Say

Why do you think the lava lamp is named after lava? Share your thoughts in the comment’s section below!

 

23 Comments

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Coolest Science Experiment?

  • Baking soda volcano.
  • Potato battery.
  • Homemade lava lamp.
  • Making your own mummy.

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AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"iamalive" wrote: "AlphaT" wrote: "iamalive" wrote: I somewhat do. if a girl wants to change to a boy that is fine, and vice versa, but they should identify as boy or girl. the moment they start making up genders or start being "gender fluid" its an annoyance. Why does it annoy you for people to be who they truly are?  if they truly feel like a boy or truly feel like a girl and want to switch, then that is fine. but you cannot truly feel like something that doesnt exist.  the gender fluid thing annoys me because the person gets annoyed if you get the pronoun wrong. they could be wearing a dress but be feeling like a guy that day, so if i say "her" the person gets mad. how was I supposed to know? I am a Trigender Unihorse and I AM OFFENDED. 
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Mellisa169
"TheHipster45" wrote: "Mellisa169" wrote: Lol, but seriously. RPs are my main pasttime on here. I am not in any, then what am I doing here? ((I know what you mean, there isn't a lot of new roleplays and sometimes they're not very active. Maybe you can try bumping some old roleplays before you really think about quitting! It'd be a shame for you to leave :( so many people have already))Trust me, I REALLY DON'T WANT TO, but I find that I always have nothing to do on here. Oh well. Knowing me, I will check everday until I am 18. 
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TheHipster45
"Mellisa169" wrote: Lol, but seriously. RPs are my main pasttime on here. I am not in any, then what am I doing here? ((I know what you mean, there isn't a lot of new roleplays and sometimes they're not very active. Maybe you can try bumping some old roleplays before you really think about quitting! It'd be a shame for you to leave :( so many people have already))
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Mellisa169
Lol, but seriously. RPs are my main pasttime on here. I am not in any, then what am I doing here?
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