Fun With Frederick & Fleming – It Doesn’t Mix

Welcome to this week’s fun with Frederick and Fleming. With it being summer, we often try to do little experiments that you could do at home. Today’s experiment will require:

- Vegetable oil
– A clear container
– Water
– Something fizzy like color bath fizzers or alka seltzer
We have talked in other segments about different densities. With this experiment, we will put some vegetable oil into this little plastic test tube. Then when we add a little water, you can see that the two don’t mix and instead the water sinks to the bottom. This is because the water is more dense than the oil.

This is why when you have oil spills, the oil sits on the top of the water instead of sinking down to the bottom.

But to make it a little more interesting and fun, we are going to drop in a colored bathtub fizzer. The fizzer sinks to the bottom and interacts with the water and starts to color it and the carbon dioxide that is released now brings colored water to the surface. But when the carbon dioxide is now out of the container, the water sinks back down. You can see in this experiment that these two liquids don’t mix at all and never will.

So to make it a little more fun and colorful, I have set up 6 test tubes with 6 different colors. We can start the process over again by adding a half an alka seltzer which will once again drop to the bottom and react with the water like the fizzers did.

blog comments powered by Disqus