This week, we’ll be exploring the concept of nucleation using two very cool experiments. Check them out below.
Duration: 30 minutes
Outcomes: Child and parent will be able to explore and understand the concept of nucleation.
What you need:
The experiment should be carried out outside the house on a clean
table or in a large clear space.
Note: This experiment can be a little messy. Ensure the balloon is fastened onto the coke bottle well to avoid a huge mess.
The balloon may explode and the loud sound may scare some children.
Question to consider:
What would happen if we put a little salt in soda?
Encourage the child to make deductions based on the experiment
At this stage, ask your child a few probing questions of your choice to see if what the kid has observed is similar to yours.
Observation: A giant geyser(jet) of the soda forms and fills the balloon with air.
Explanation: When soda is being made, a lot of carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the soda bottles. The carbon dioxide adds the pleasant flavour to the soda and is the reason for the sharp tingling sensation when you drink.
Some of the carbondioxide gas dissolves into the soda and some doesn’t. The trapped gas is constantly looking for an escape route out of the bottle. So, it clings onto anything it comes across in the bottle forming tiny air bubbles.
You can dip your finger into a glass containing soda to visualize this further. You will see bubbles forming around your finger.
When salt is poured into the soda bottle, the carbon dioxide gas bubbles cling onto the surface of the tiny salt crystals. As more carbon dioxide gas accumulates around the crystals, the gas becomes more buoyant. It then rushes out of the bottle forcing all the soda in its way to rise as well. This forms a giant geyser that shoots out of the bottle.
So, What is NucleationVery simply, nucleation is the process through which matter begins changing from one state to another. In this case, it is the rapid formation of carbondioxide gas bubbles on and around the surface of the thousands of salt crystals that have been poured into the soda.
Applications: You can use the experiment to compare the level of carbon dioxide pumped into different brands of soda.
Key words: geyser, carbon dioxide, nucleation, bubbles, bouyant, Mentos.
Please use the hashtag #FundiAtHome and tag our social media accounts ( @fundibots ) so we can see your awesome experiments and have other people join the discussion!
Resources for further reading/ exploration: