Home Experiment: Stacking Liquids





An easy home experiment; create a tower of liquids. The liquids near the bottom are more dense while the objects on top are less dense. This can also be used to determine the relative density of solid objects. Place them in the container and see where they float.

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16 thought on “Home Experiment: Stacking Liquids”

  1. @Shakamuni Yes, that is true. I apologize if my comment led you to think I meant all alcohols regardless of the R group in the form of R-OH. I was using alcohols to mean the common alcohols the layman would use in every day situations such as ethyl and isopropyl.

  2. @lhvinny I fact not all alcohols can mix with water, it depends on the number of carbon atoms in the alcohol chain. If there are more than 5 or 6 C, mixability decreases due to hydrophobic repulsion.

  3. @lasertracer206 Yes, alcohols and water both have hydrogen bonding properties, so they will mix if you put a layer of alcohol directly in contact with water. You will, however, see "density ripples" during the pouring process, which are very fun to observe.

  4. @ThirstForScience Soap operates by acting as a bridge between oils and water – eg. when you wash your hands, the soap pulls the oils along with the water down the drain. So if your soap has mixed with the water, then the long carbon chain of the soap can attract the oil, while the OH tail of the soap will attract to water, causing the two to mix.

  5. Question: i'm after a set of solutions like this which shows densitys and looks cool :p
    However i want a cylinder with solutions that when mixed, originate to the original densities and "sediment" after you shake them.. for example with alcohol and water, when you shake it it'll turn into a murky solution, but after 10-20 seconds it'll sediment into its original density layers.
    could i do that with this set of solutions, or would you suggest some that i could, if possible 🙂
    thanks in advanc

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