By: Jesse Bernstein, Miami Country Day School, Miami, FL
The Seeing the Invisible Properties of Gases Demonstration Kit shows the fluid nature of gases. Carbon dioxide is denser than air, therefore it flows down a ramp of candles, displacing the air above it, extinguishing the candles' flames.
Is it possible to pour a gas? Set up the specially designed ramp with equally spaced candles. Add a clear liquid to the beaker, hold the beaker at the top of the ramp, and pour the invisible contents. One by one the candles are snuffed out! The beaker contains sodium bicarbonate. Add vinegar to the beaker and carbon dioxide is produced. Carbon dioxide is denser than air and therefore the carbon dioxide flows down the ramp, displacing the air above each candle and extinguishes the flame. A dramatic demo showing the fluid nature of gases. Teacher Demonstration Notes included.
Enough materials are provided to perform the demonstration seven times.
Concepts: Buoyancy, gas density.
Time Required: 15 minutes
Materials Provided: Sodium bicarbonate, vinegar, plastic ramp, and tea candles.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter