My Groovy Lava Lamp Experiment
Exploratorium Salt Volcano
Guidelines for Science Fair Projects
History of the Lava Lamp
I chose this project to demonstrate two things:
1. How different liquids have different density.
2. How chemicals can get mixed and do weird things.
Water and Oil do not have the same density as each other. They will not mix up but will float on top of each other. Adding another chemical (salt) will make my mixture do some weird things.
OBSERVATIONS AND DATA
1. Pour about 3 inches of water into the jar.
2. Pour about 1/3 cup of vegetable oil into the jar.
3. When everything settles, look at how the water and oil mix.
4. Add one drop of food coloring to the jar.
5. Observe how the color mixes with the oil.
Wow! I didn't know that!
6. Shake salt on top of the oil while you count slowly to five. Observe what happens to the salt.
7. Add more salt to see what happens
Referfences and Links
1. A glass jar or clear drinking glass
2. Vegetable oil
5. Food coloring
Salt is heavier than water, so when you pour salt on the oil, it sinks to the bottom of the mixture, carrying a blob of oil with it. In the water, the salt starts to dissolve. As it dissolves, the salt releases the oil, which floats back up to the top of the water.
I knew that oil and water would not mix, but I was surprised to see what happened when I added salt to the mixture. It was cool to see the oil form into blobs and turn into what looked like a lava lamp.