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Tuesday, 17 June 2014 14:05

F3-21: SURFACE TENSION - ALCOHOL AND WATER IN SAND

Additional Info

  • ID Code: F3-21
  • Purpose: Illustrate the difference between the surface tension in water and in alcohol.
  • Description: One jar contains sand with water. The bottle has been tamped so that the sand grains have become aligned with very small cracks between them. The surface tension of the water will not allow the water to flow into these very small volumes. When the jar is squeezed, the cracks open up sufficiently to allow the water to flow into them, thus causing the water in the tube to fall.

    A second jar contains sand with alcohol. Because alcohol has a much smaller surface tension than water, the alcohol will flow into the small cracks between sand grains, filling the space. When the alcohol bottle is squeezed, the volume is already filled with sand and liquid, so the alcohol level in the tube must rise.

  • Availability: Available
Read 673 times Last modified on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:01
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