Fun with Bubbles!

Fun with Bubbles!

Effervescence

It’s a big word – what does it mean?

Effervescence is the escape of gas from a water based solution.  You see it happen when you open a bottle of gassy soft-drink such as Coca Cola.  Manufacturers dissolve carbon dioxide into the liquid to make it gassy.  They do this under pressure to cram more gas into the liquid so that it stays there for longer.  Then when you release the pressure by opening the top, the gas can escape more easily and you can see the gas bubbles rising up and out of the liquid.

If your mom or dad has ever given you a headache tablet that dissolves in water it probably bubbles too.  When those pills are made they are made in such a way that it traps carbon dioxide in the tablet too.  Then when you pop the tablet in water, it releases the carbon dioxide which we see as bubbles, and allows the tablet to dissolve into the water.

So lets see if we can have a little fun with bubbles!

Preparation – What you will need:

  1. Glasses
  2. A Tray (this could get messy)
  3. Baking Soda
  4. Food Colouring (various colours)
  5. Vinegar
  6. Spoons

Method:

  1. Add some food colouring to the spoons.  Mix some of the colours if you life for multi-coloured fun!
  2. Cover the food colouring with baking soda.
  3. Fill the glasses about 2/3’s of the way with vinegar.
  4. Pick a spoon, dip it into the cup and stir it in as quickly as you can!
  5. Then watch the multi-coloured eruptions of bubbles.

But why did it do that??

When you combine the baking soda and vinegar, a chemical reaction takes place that produces carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide is a gas – it’s basically what comes out of your nose or mouth when you exhale.  Because it’s a gas and is at a much lower density than the water, it escapes from the water as bubbles.  When you release a lot of carbon dioxide very quickly you get these wonderfully bubbly reactions.

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