Monday, December 22, 2014

Stripes or no stripes?

Are these stripes dissolving or not?



We put the candy cane in a glass filled with water, and then with oil. The candy cane dissolves in the water, making the stripes disappear. But sugar and corn syrup, the main ingredients in candy canes, don't dissolve well in oil. Even when the candy cane rests in oil for several days, the stripes remain. Meanwhile, the segment on the bottom eventually dissolves away, leaving a candy cane hook hanging from the side of the glass.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas candy cane optical illusion?

No, we didn't slice this candy cane in half. Instead we put it in a glass filled with a layer of water and a layer of oil. Since each medium (water, oil, and air) slows down light a little bit differently, the light bends a little bit where the air meets the oil, and where the oil meets the water. The result? A candy cane that looks chainsawed into segments.