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THE SCIENCE LAB Make & Do Activity Kit Liquid density rainbow Explore the different properties
THE SCIENCE LAB
Make & Do Activity Kit
Liquid density rainbow
Explore the different properties of liquids. We look at viscosity,
density and miscibility of everyday liquids in this colourful,
simple and fun experiment.
Time: Approximately 45 minutes +
Difficulty:
Hints: Step 4 involves two miscible liquids and will
require patience so the layers don’t mix. Don’t worry if
they do! It really is very hard to keep them apart.
if they do! It really is very hard to keep them apart. What you will need:

What you will need:

water

vegetable oil

rubbing alcohol (or gin, Tequila or vodka)

a tall clear glass jar and lid

green food colouring

blue food colouring

golden syrup (or honey, treacle, maple

syrup, dark corn syrup)

dishwashing liquid

Note - The exact amount of each liquid will depend on the size of your jar. Each ingredient will fill 1/6th of the jar.

Note - This experiment involves the use of alcohol and will require adult supervision in collecting the ingredients.

require adult supervision in collecting the ingredients. 1. Pour the golden syrup into the bottom of

1. Pour the golden syrup into the bottom of the jar filling 1/6th of the jar. Use the same amount for each of the following liquids.

2. Tip the glass slightly and slowly pour in the dishwashing liquid. Tipping the jar slightly will help to stop liquids mixing together.

3. Add 2 drops of blue food

colouring to water. Add very

slowly to the jar, trying not

to mix the liquids.

4. Add 2 drops of green food colouring to the alcohol. Pour into the jar by dribbling down the side of the jar very slowly. This is the most difficult step.

5. Add the vegetable oil to your jar. Stand your jar on a table and allow to settle.

6. Notice all the layers. Observe that some layers have mixed more than others and some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is?

some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo
some very clearly will not mix. Why do you think that is? 500 Harris St Ultimo

500 Harris St Ultimo

500 Harris st. Ultimo

PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238

Australia

Australia

Tel: 02 9217 0111

PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238

http://play.powerhousemuseum.com

Tel: 02 6217 0111

http://play.powerhousemuseum.com

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This work is licensed under the Creative

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-

Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-

NonCommercial 3.0 Australia Licence (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU)

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THE SCIENCE LAB Make & Do Activity Kit
THE SCIENCE LAB
Make & Do Activity Kit

Liquid density rainbow

Page 2

Make & Do Activity Kit Liquid density rainbow Page 2 What’s going on? Different properies Why
Make & Do Activity Kit Liquid density rainbow Page 2 What’s going on? Different properies Why
Make & Do Activity Kit Liquid density rainbow Page 2 What’s going on? Different properies Why
What’s going on? Different properies Why do the liquids in your jar stay separated in

What’s going on?

What’s going on? Different properies Why do the liquids in your jar stay separated in their

Different properies

Why do the liquids in your jar stay separated in their layers? Why do some liquids stay mixed and others return to their different layers after being shaken?

Each liquid has different properties. Each liquid has a different density and viscosity. Some are immiscible liquids and some are miscible.

Density

are immiscible liquids and some are miscible . Density A liquids position in the glass jar
are immiscible liquids and some are miscible . Density A liquids position in the glass jar

A liquids position in the glass jar indicates its density compared to the others. The more dense the liquid, the closer to the bottom it will be.

You float in the sea more easily than in fresh water. This is because of the difference in density between the salt water in the sea and the water in your body. You’re body is closer to the density of fresh water and so it is harder to float.

Viscosity

Viscosity is the measure of a liquid’s resistance to changing its shape. It is the ‘thickness’ of a liquid. Tomato sauce has a high viscosity and so will pour more slowly out of a bottle than water, which has a lower viscosity.

Miscibility

Miscibility is the measure of how well two substances mix. Water and alcohol are miscible. They mix together and stay mixed. Water and oil are immiscible and so do not mix. It doesn’t take long after you stop mixing these two liquids for the oil to float back to the top. You may notice this with salad dressing.

back to the top. You may notice this with salad dressing. What else can i do?

What else can i do?

Experiment 1 - Miscibility

Pour equal parts oil and water into a jar. Close the

lid tightly and shake. To make the results more clear,

mix a little food colouring with the water before

pouring into the jar.

Are these liquids miscible or immiscible? How long

does it take to separate again? Does this change if the liquids are shaken for a longer time? Which liquid is more dense?

Experiment 2 - A refraction experiment

Do the experiment on the first page again. This time do not shake the jar. Take a stick and insert it into the jar so that the stick touches the bottom.

Observe the stick from the side. What do you see?

Each liquid bends the light coming through the glass

in a different way. All liquids have a property called

the refractive index. This is the measure of how

much light will be bent when it passes through a material.

The refractive index will increases with density.