GRAND RAPIDS — Have you ever wondered if water can defy gravity? In today's experiment we are actually going to make water walk through a rainbow of colors while defying gravity. So here is what you need to get started!
- 5 clear cups
- Food coloring
- Paper towels
Step 1: Place the cups in a line and fill every other cup half-way to ¾ full with water
Step 2: Add a few drops of red food coloring to the first cup and stir
Step 3: Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the third cup and stir
Step 4: Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the fifth cup and stir
Step 5: Use pick a size paper towel or cut a full sheet in half and then fold into a hot dog and then a hamburger. Repeat this step 4 times
*Pro Tip: Using the least amount of paper towel works best. Cut the sheets down to only have one single layer of paper towel in your final hamburger fold.
Step 6: Place each folded paper towel in between each cup side by side with each end of the paper towel in a different cup.
Step 7: Sit back relax and watch what happens!
The water will slowly start to walk from cup to cup and create some rainbow colors!
This water movement is happening through a process called capillary action. Our paper towels are made from fibers and the water then is able to travel through the gaps in those fibers.
The gaps in the paper towel act like capillary tubes and pull the water upward from one cup to another.
The water is able to move upward against gravity because of the strong adhesion or the ability to cling on to the paper towel. These attractive forces between the water and paper towel are stronger than the water molecules alone.
Now capillary action is the same process that helps water climb from a plant’s roots to the leaves at the top of a plant or tree.
There you have it, we made water defy gravity and even added in those rainbow colors! Send our meteorologist Candace Monacelli your pictures doing this experiments at home! She will feature future meteorologists on my Facebook page daily!