Investigate Thursdays – Lava Lamps

For this week’s Investigate Thursday, I decided to make a lava lamp. To do this at home, you will need:
– a clear container such as a jar, plastic bottle or glass
– cooking oil
– water
– effervescent tablets such as Alka-Seltzer, Berocca or fizzy vitamin C tablets
– food colouring (optional)

Once you have gathered everything you need, we can begin:

Step 1: Fill your jar with oil and water. You want there to be double the amount of oil than there is water.
Step 2: Add your food colouring (if you have any, the experiment will work just fine without it)
Step 3: Put in your effervescent tablet and watch the bubbles that are formed!

As you know, oil and water do not mix with oil staying on top of water. When we add in the tablet, it reacts with the water producing carbon dioxide gas. The bubbles latch onto droplets of coloured water carrying them up to the surface. Once there, the gas escapes and the droplets fall back down through the oil.

Give it a go and let us know how you got on!

Watch the video of my Lava Lamp in action here.