Sun, Oct 07, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Sunday Science: Milk Kaleidoscope 週日科學:牛奶萬花筒

milk kaleidoscope


This week we're going to make a funky milk kaleidoscope. You're sure to want to show this off to your family and friends, so it's probably best that you work out which kaleidoscope works best, then you can make a big one. Be careful, food coloring can stain your clothes.

What you will need:

Several small bowls or pie plates

Different types of milk (whole milk, low fat milk, soy milk etc.)

Food coloring

A bamboo skewer or a toothpick

Dish detergent


Cooking oil

+ Each dish should have at least 3cm of fluid in it. Use a different dish for each fluid. Use milk, low fat milk, soy milk and water. Put a large drop of cooking oil in the center of the water.

+ Line the dishes up so that you can see them all. Now very gently bring the food dye as close to the surface of each of the fluids as possible and put one drop of each color at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock. Be very careful not to knock or disturb the samples.

+ Place some dish detergent on a small plate. Dip the skewer in the detergent and very carefully poke the skewer just into the surface in the middle of the first sample. Hold the skewer still and watch.

+ Redip the skewer and repeat in all samples. The reaction will keep on going for up to five minutes. Be patient!

+ Compare and contrast what happens in each case.

+ Choose the best two reactions and repeat the experiment, only this time poke the water with a clean (no detergent) skewer, then follow up with three or four drops of detergent onto the air bubble the skewer leaves.

Don't forget to record what happens in your Science Journal.(catherine Thomas, staff writer)










+ 每個盤子應有至少三公分深的液體在裡面。每種液體都用不同的盤子裝著,有全脂牛奶、低脂牛奶、豆奶和水。在水中間滴入一大滴食用油。

+ 將盤子排列整齊,如此一來,你可以看見全部的盤子。現在輕輕地將食用色素拿到每盤液體的表面,愈靠近愈好,然後各滴一滴在十二點鐘、三點鐘、六點鐘和九點鐘位置。千萬小心,別撞到這些樣本。

+ 在小盤子上放一些洗碗精,將竹籤沾上洗碗精,然後小心地插入第一個樣本的中央。靜握住竹籤並觀察變化。

+ 每個樣本都重複一樣的動作。反應會持續達五分鐘,請耐心觀察。

+ 比較和對照每組發生的變化。

+ 選出反應最佳的兩組並重複該實驗,不過,這次使用乾淨的竹籤(不沾洗碗精)然後插入水中,接著滴上三、四滴洗碗精在竹籤插入後所留下的氣泡上。

別忘了將實驗結果記錄在《科學日誌》中喔。 (翻譯:楊鴻泰)

What's the science? 科學原理

Milk is made up of water (polar), sugars and salts (polar) and fats and lipids (nonpolar). The molecules in dish detergent are also both polar and nonpolar. When you add the detergent to the milk, a "current" is created by the attractions and repulsions between the polar and nonpolar properties of the molecules. The food coloring is moved by this and so you can see a kaleidoscope effect.


Science Journal 科學日誌

Do you know what milk is made up of? Is oil similar to the fat in milk? What do you know about dish detergent? What do you think might happen if you mix milk and dish detergent?


Further ideas 進階點子

What happens if you add some oil to the milk? How do the colors react? How about replacing the dish detergent with shampoo? Shower gel? Liquid hand soap? Try moving the toothpick around in the samples. What happens? If you like you can save your results by lightly placing a coffee filter on the surface. Lift it off and leave it to dry.


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