Oil and water don't mix

Immiscible liquids, like oil and water, don’t mix

Oil on the pavement after a rainstorm leaves a beautiful rainbow patternAfter a rainstorm have you ever noticed puddles in the road with glossy-looking oil floating on top? Ever noticed the oil spots that sometimes form in your chicken-noodle soup? Ever notice how Reeko occasionally writes ‘lead ins’ to the experiments that have absolutely nothing at all to do with the experiment?

Why does the oil float on the water rather than mixing with it? This experiment will take some of the mystery out of this phenomenon.

  1. Take a jar of water and put a drop of food coloring in it (Reeko prefers blue ).
  2. Now pour in some vegetable oil.
  3. Next stir or shake the jar. Do the oil and water mix?
  4. Finally, take another jar of colored water. Pour some rubbing alcohol slowly down the edge of the glass (the inside edge of course). Now stir or shake the jar. Do the liquids stay mixed?

When two liquids separate themselves into layers, like the oil and water do, we say the two liquids are immiscible (ih MISS ih buhl). Now you understand why it does no good to poor water on a grease (oil) fire. Also makes you understand how some creatures up North can swim around in icy cold water with no ill effects (hint, their coats are very oily).

[iframe src=”http://www.reekoscience2.com/EquationSolve.aspx?puzz=18″ height=”180″]Not sure what’s going on here? Check out the instructions here!

Experiment Supplies

Supplies: Food dye, Vegetable oil, Alcohol


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