Sprinkle some pepper in water and make it dance across the surface. Explore surface tension of water when you try this fun pepper and soap experiment with the kids. We are always on the hunt for simple science experiments and this one is just super fun and easy!
WHY DOES PEPPER MOVE AWAY FROM SOAP?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Surface tension exists in water because water molecules stick to each other. This tension is so strong that when you first sprinkle pepper onto the water, it sits on top of the water instead of sinking into it.
Why does pepper scatter when you add soap? When soap is added to the water, it breaks the surface tension in that area. That makes the water molecules close to your finger pull away, carrying the pepper along with them.
ALSO CHECK OUT: Drops On A Penny
THE MEASUREMENT OF SURFACE TENSION
Scientist, Agnes Pockels discovered the science of surface tension of fluids simply doing the dishes in her own kitchen.
Despite her lack of formal training, Pockels was able to measure the surface tension of water by designing an apparatus known as the Pockels trough. This was a key instrument in the new discipline of surface science.
In 1891, Pockels published her first paper, “Surface Tension,” on her measurements in the journal Nature.
PEPPER AND SOAP EXPERIMENT
WATCH THE VIDEO:
- Bowl of water
- Ground pepper
- Dish soap
STEP 1: Sprinkle pepper into a bowl of water.
STEP 2: Dip your toothpick into dish soap.
STEP 3: Gently touch the pepper in the middle of the bowl and watch the magic happen!
MORE FUN SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
Check out our list of science experiments for Jr Scientists!
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