Simple And Fun Science Experiments That Are Perfect For Home
A bar of Ivory soap is placed inside the microwave. After two minutes on high heat, the door swings open and here comes the reveal. What you see inside the microwave now doesn't resemble that bar of soap in the slightest, but this isn't some sort of magic trick. You're still looking at Ivory soap — the air molecules have just expanded and a transformation has occurred. This is the result of Charles' law.
Jacques Charles was a French scientist and inventor whose most notable work came during the late 18th century. Charles was presumably the first to discover that hydrogen could be used as a lifting agent in balloons, according to the ChemTeam. In fact, he was the first individual to take to the air via a hydrogen-filled balloon in 1783, though there's no clear answer as to how high he rose and how long he was in the air. This is certainly a memorable feat, but what the Frenchman is perhaps best known for is his work that later became Charles' law.
Charles' law, or the law of volumes, simply states that a gas tends to expand when heat is applied to it. This law was published in 1802 by French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, who credited Charles for all his work on the subject, the ChemTeam reports. So, because Ivory soap is full of air molecules, it begins to expand when placed in the microwave. It's a pretty fascinating watch, as the bar of soap will writhe and wriggle until it nearly takes up the entire space. For those of you wondering, the soap can still be used afterward, it'll just be delicate and a bit flaky.
This BuzzFeed-produced video features a few other science experiments that are great to do at home — especially if you have curious children around. One of the more interesting (and visually appealing) experiments showcases how water transfers through a plant. All you need is a white flower and some food coloring. Stick your flower in a cup of water, add a few drops of the food coloring of your choice, and over time you'll see the flower's petals begin to change color. This is a great science experiment for kids because not only is it exciting to watch, but it also teaches how water is absorbed through a plant.
In another intriguing display, the presenter soaks a raw egg in vinegar for roughly two days. During that time, the egg shell disintegrates. According to Imagination Station, this is a result of the reaction between the acetic acid in the vinegar and the calcium carbonate in the egg shell. When the egg is removed from the vinegar and dropped from a few inches above the ground, it bounces! In comparison, a boiled egg was placed in vinegar for the same period of time, but when it was dropped from the same height there wasn't much bounce to it.
Below, you can check out these cool science experiments in action. These are great activities to do with kids, provided that you take the necessary safety precautions. If you give any of these a whirl at home, let us know how they go!