Thursday, October 17, 2013

SET: The Magic of a Black Marker

Science Experiment Thursday (SET) included the color of the week

Monkey J loves magic, so he was excited when I told him that a black marker had some magical properties.  We started off using a coffee filter, but it didn't work very well, so we moved on to a paper towel.  For this experiment, you will need:

-Paper Towel
-Bowl of water
-Black Marker (not permanent)

Have your little scientist color on one end of the paper towel with the black marker:

Place the paper towel in the  bowl with the coloring on the top:

You can watch the water "creep up" the towel:

And as it does, the black breaks up into different colors:

Monkey J loved to see the different colors emerge:

 Which naturally meant we had to do the same thing with different colored markers:

So how does it work?  Well, surprise!  We are using chromatography again, just like last week, to separate the pigments of the marker.  By placing the ink in water, we are creating a medium for which the pigments can travel.  The rate at which each pigment travels on water varies, so that's why we see the colors that were used to make black appear.  To explain it to Monkey J for now, I simply told him that we mix together different colors to make black ;)

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