Monday, August 9, 2010

Suspended "Ghost" Bubbles

We found this simple science activity in Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone's The Ultimate Bubble Book, Soapy Science Fun.

All you need is:

  • some baking soda
  • vinegar
  • a sink
  • bubble soap, and blowers
  • and a child, or two (optional)

Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into the sink, or into a pie plate placed in the sink.

Add vinegar, to create the fizzy foam, of homemade volcano fame.

When the fizz begins to die down, blow a few bubbles over the sink, and watch them hover, mysteriously, in mid-air. It's pretty cool.

Of course, what is happening, is the carbon dioxide gas, produced by the baking soda/vinegar reaction, is staying at the bottom of the sink, because carbon dioxide is heavier than air. The invisible gas, holds up the bubbles, as they start to fall into the sink. Eventually the gas will dissipate, and the bubbles will fall, as usual.

You can do something similar with dry ice, but baking soda, and vinegar are common kitchen items, and safer for little hands.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Christy Killoran said...

How fun! My kids will enjoy this one.

Phyllis said...

Very neat. We are planning to do acid/base experiments this week and I may do this then too. Sounds like fun.

Ticia said...

That would be very cool. Now I just need to find some bubble solution and get my kids to successfully blow bubbles.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Ticia - We just used the undiluted dish soap, and straws, again.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is pretty fascinating - I can see the big "wow" factor in it.

Debbie said...

I definately have to try this to just see what type of reaction I get from Selena!