Whether for aesthetic purpose or scientific studies, you will really be astonished by the beauty and illusions produced by the lava lamp. However, not all can afford the price of commercial lava lamps.
Now, if you want to explore your creativity, you can always create your version of a lava lamp. You don’t have to worry since the steps in creating a DIY lava lamp are very simple.
- Fill the Container. Fill the most portion of the flask (or any longitudinal container) with vegetable oil. Then, put tap water to fill the remaining part of the container.
- Drop Some Food Coloring. The next that you must do is to add several drops of food coloring (the specific hue depends on your preference).
- Add a Breaker. Then, gradually drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet to the flask. This tablet is made up of aspirin, anhydrous citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate. Since this tablet is denser than the vegetable oil and water, it will directly settle to the bottom of the container. As each of the components of the tablet disintegrates, it will emit carbon dioxide bubbles.
You will definitely enjoy the scene when the bubbles from the Alka-Seltzer tablet keep pumping across the molecules of water and vegetable oil. As the reaction slows down, you may add another tablet.
What the Science Says in the Lava Lamp Phenomenon
Scientifically speaking, what happened inside the lava lamp is nothing but pure discrepancies of density. Lighter materials will always find a way to go up in a mixture; thus, the vegetable oil is on top. The tap water is heavier, and it went under the vegetable oil. When you added the obviously heavier tablet, this turns the whole thing interesting. Of course, the tablet went below the tap water. But as the tablet gradually dissolved, it became lighter, and it produced bubbles that kept on breaking the boundary between the oil and water.