{science experiment} milky colors

Posted on September 7th, 2011 by mountain girl  |  No Comments »

We’ve been doing science experiments galore here.

Our mentor is a book we found that is quite cool, in case you’re in the market for good science experiment books. It’s called Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes by Steve Spangler, and it’s loaded with fun experiments and good clear descriptions of what’s happening, without using too much scientific jargon.

This is the “Color Changing Milk” experiment. Caleb put 1/4″ of milk on a plate and added 4 drops of food color, then put a bit of dish soap on a Q-tip and touched it to the milk.

It makes a burst of color as the soap molecules interact with the fat molecules, chasing milky rainbows everywhere. This is because of the soap’s hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, which the book explains are just fancy terms for “water-loving” and “water-hating”.

In a nutshell, those properties are also what remove dirt, and make soap work.

Of course, a bit of silliness usually follows the very serious experiment, such as putting food coloring drop-by-drop into a glass of water, just to see what happens.

Silliness can reveal weird things, too. Such as how the different colors fall through the water in different formations (the red seems to always fall in beautiful rings). Or maybe it’s just this particular food coloring, in this particular water.

Only more experiments will tell.

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