What is chromatography? Chromatography is a technique
that scientists use to help separate and identify the components of mixtures
(solvents), such as those used in making commercial inks and dyes. Many types
of ink, like many materials, are made up of two or more different substances.
By passing a mixture through a liquid, most often water, you’re able to
separate out the components of that mixture!
In High Touch High Tech’s Chromatography Flowers experiment,
we use water’s powers to assist us in chromatography. Water is sticky, meaning
that water molecules want to stay close together. Cohesion is the force
that keeps water molecules together, while adhesion attracts water
molecules to other substances. Water is pulled up the pipe cleaner using
adhesion and cohesion, and then begins to stick to our coffee filter, climbing
across the filter and spreading outwards.
Once the water reaches the coffee filter which we have drawn
on, the chromatography process begins! The water is absorbed into the ink left
by the marker and continues to climb across the coffee filter, separating the
components of the ink!
Check out our updated list of spooky science Halloween Activities here!
Worried about having too much Halloween candy laying around? Here’s a little science you can do with your kids’ haul—or your own!
Chances are if you’ve got kids they’re going to want to go trick-or-treating. This means they’ll end up loaded with way more candy than you’d want them to actually eat. What could you do with the rest? Well, you could donate it, you could take it to a candy buyback program or you could do a little science with it! Here are a few ideas from Candyexperiments.com.
Here’s a simple one. Grab some wintergreen flavored Life Saver candies, stand in a dark room, face a mirror and chew them with your mouth open. You’ll see flashes of light that result from electrons in the candy; these are more easily visible thanks to the wintergreen flavoring.
Ever tried pouring some Pop Rocks into a glass of water? If you do, you’ll find that it’s a pretty effervescent experience.
By rapidly heating and cooling a piece of chocolate, you can gradually seperate it into its component parts. This results in white streaks and spirals called chocolate bloom. You can even still eat the chocolate once this is done—the texture might be a little unusual but it’s still perfectly edible!
Skittles are both delicious and colorful – here’s a way to really help that color shine. By using different quantities of various colored Skittles and the principle that sugar makes water more dense, you can create a liquid rainbow. This is one of the tougher experiments to try; make sure you pour the melted Skittles very slowly otherwise the different colors will just mix together.
Color Separation- Chromotography
Even if a piece of candy is only one color, that color can actually contain a variety of differently colored dyes. By dissolving candy coloring into water then slowly dripping that water down a piece of paper, it’s possible to see all those various colors. This is an easy experiment and the results are striking. Try it with brown M&Ms!