100 Days Project

Nanogirl: Star Science

Nanogirl wants to find 100 friends to do science experiments with her to prove that no matter who you are or what your education level, you can always have fun with science.

Day 40:

Luke shows me Charles’s Law using just his hands

Luke is 8 years old and a huge fan of maths and science.  Today he took a liquid filled glass sculpture and moved the liquid from the bottom to the top of the sculpture going through a twisted tube, all using the heat transferred from his bare hands. Luke held the bulb end in the palm of his hands and within secondshis body heat caused the liquid to rise.  As soon as he let go, and allowed the liquid to cool back down, it moved from the top back tot he bottom of the sculpture.

This happens because of both Charles’s Law and vapor-liquid equilibrium.  The green liquid in the glass is made of a liquid with a boiling point just above room temperature. The body heat from Lukes hands causes the liquid to boil, which makes the liquid evaporate and turn it to gas. Because gas has more volume than liquid, it expandings which pushes the liquid upwards.  Once Luke let go and allowed the gas to cool and condense back into a liquid, the equilibrium is re-established and it flows back into the lower part of the sculpture.