Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Down the Gummi Tunnel

Gummi worms absorb so much water, and grow so much, that they turn translucent. Looking into the broken section of this piece of gummi worm was just like looking down a tunnel, complete with a ridged ceiling.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pop Rocks, Pixy Stix, and Density

Pop Rocks usually sink in water. But if you stir enough Pixy Stix into the water (making it denser), some of the Pop Rocks float.


Pop Rocks float in Pixy Stix water (green) but sink otherwise (pink)

This is another fun discovery we made when I let kids play around with the candy. Thanks, cousins!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Density Layers

Here's a fun density video from Mocomi.com, showing how honey, water, and oil form layers in a bottle. Even when they shake the bottle or turn it sideways, the layers reform because the honey, oil, and water don't mix.

What would happen if you tried this with a Skittles density rainbow? It wouldn't behave the same way. The Skittles density rainbow works because each layer has a different concentration of sugar. Shake it up, and the sugar water mixes together and can't be separated. All that you're left with is a muddy brown.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mentos/Diet Coke geyser

You'll find the Mentos/Diet Coke geyser in Candy Experiments, because no candy experiments book would be complete without it. I tested different kinds of soda and different kinds of Mentos delivery systems, watched Mentos/Diet Coke videos and TV shows like Mythbusters, and read scientific papers about the various reasons that the soda creates such tall fountains, and asked my parents to photograph it for me. Some things I learned:
  • Experts say that diet cola makes the highest geyser
  • The Steve Spangler Geyser Tube makes a higher geyser than if you just drop Mentos in the bottle. Also, it's nice to be able to start the geyser from a safe distance away, so you don't get sticky.
  • While Mentos make the very best geyser, bumpy Nerds jelly beans are a good runner up, because of the extra surface area.
You'll find more information in Candy Experiments.

This experiment has been around for years, and there are lots of fun versions of it on the internet.