Kitchen Science Experiments

Slow waves

Mon, 18th Jun 2012

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What you Need

An empty 2L lemonade bottle

1.5l or so of vegetable oil.

Food colouring

Water

What to do

Fill the bottle about 1/3 full of water, and add a couple of drops of food colouring.

Hold the bottle horizontally and slightly lift one end to cause a wave to travel along the bottle - how long does it take?


Now, gently, top the bottle up with vegetable oil, put the lid on, lie it on its side, and wait for the oil and water to separate. Now lift one end and try to make waves in the bottle. Do you notice a difference?

What may happen

You should find that the water with oil over the top produces surprisingly slow waves.

Wellcome Trust
EPSRC
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Genetics Society