7 Science Tricks with Surface Tension | Summary and Q&A

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April 21, 2015
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Physics Girl
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7 Science Tricks with Surface Tension

TL;DR

This video demonstrates various experiments involving surface tension, such as creating colorful fireworks in milk, making spheres using soap and coffee, powering a boat with soap and water, and more.

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Key Insights

  • 🫗 Mixing soap with liquids can create unique effects due to changes in surface tension.
  • 👻 Surface tension can be broken using soap, allowing objects to move or float.
  • 💁 The addition of soap during experiments can alter the behavior of liquids, such as forming spheres or creating patterns.
  • 🥹 Surface tension can hold large quantities of water in inverted containers if properly sealed.
  • 🫗 Soap has different effects on surface tension depending on the liquid it is mixed with.
  • 💦 The number of water droplets that can fit on a surface is influenced by surface tension.
  • 💦 Surface tension interacts with temperature, as shown by the vaporization of water droplets on a hot surface.

Transcript

[SOUND EFFECTS PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] Take a plate of milk, and drop some food coloring into the middle-- as many different colors as you want. Take a Q-tip covered in soap and dip it right into the center of the food coloring to make fireworks. That is awesome. Science. [SOUND EFFECTS PLAYING] This one I discovered by chance the other day while ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How can I create colorful fireworks-like patterns in milk using surface tension?

To create fireworks in milk, drop food coloring into the middle of a plate of milk and then dip a Q-tip covered in soap into the center of the food coloring. The various colors and soapy film interact with the milk's surface tension to create unique patterns.

Q: What causes the formation of small spheres on the surface of coffee when mixed with soap?

When soap is mixed into coffee, it creates a soapy film on the surface. The motion of the water, along with the soap, causes the formation of small spheres or balls. The exact mechanism behind this phenomenon is still unknown.

Q: How can I make a boat move on water using surface tension?

To power a boat with surface tension, make a small boat out of a card and place it on the surface of the water. Then, use soap to break the surface tension, allowing the boat to move using the force generated.

Q: What happens when you flip a jar of water with a card on top, and how does surface tension come into play?

When you flip a jar of water with a card on top, the surface tension across the screen holds the water inside the jar. This is possible because the screen is tightly secured to the jar, creating a seal. The surface tension prevents the water from spilling out.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Using food coloring and soap, you can create fireworks-like patterns in a plate of milk.

  • By mixing soap into coffee, you can observe the formation of tiny spheres on the surface.

  • Soap can be used to break the surface tension of water and power a miniature boat.

  • Placing a card on top of an open jar filled with water and flipping it over can create a surprising effect, where the water stays inside the jar.

  • Balancing a paper clip or tissue paper on the surface of water demonstrates the effect of soap on surface tension.

  • You can fit more water droplets on a penny than you might expect due to surface tension.

  • Heating a pan and observing water droplets vaporize on the surface showcases the effects of temperature on surface tension.

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