water

Hydrothermal Quartz

Hydrothermal veins are a combination of the two ways that crystals form. Magma contains water as well as molten rock. Because it is underground, and under tremendous pressure, the water stays a liquid. At very high temperatures and pressure, that water can dissolve quite a few minerals. As the magma cools, the last part that is still a liquid is the quartz and the high temperature/high pressure water. They flow into cracks in the surrounding rocks, where they cool. The quartz starts to solidify quickly, but the hot water keeps some of it dissolved.

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This is Carlsbad Caverns. What are the main chemicals involved in the formation of all of those beautiful, flowstone structures?

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The surface of a pool of water freezes first. Then why do you usually find large bubbles of air under the ice?

Why We Use Soap

Today I spent some time rebuilding a transformer for my Tesla coil. I got the idea for this experiment as I was cleaning up, trying to get the tar and grease off of my hands. Have you ever wondered why we use soap when we wash things? What is so special about soap?

To find out, you will need:

Viscosity

Today I was so busy having fun that I put off working on this week's experiment. I had several ideas bubbling around in my brain, but nothing quite came together. Then, as I often do when I am looking for an idea, I picked up the first thing I saw and began playing with it. It happened to be a bottle of liquid soap. I turned it over and watched as the bubble rose slowly through the thick liquid. I knew that I had this week's experiment. You will need:

OJ Ice Crystals

This experiment comes from some of my wife's creativity. Our hotel has breakfast every morning, and she has been putting some extra orange juice in our freezer each morning. By evening, it is nicely frozen and ready to be eaten. Besides being delicious, it also offers a great lesson on the science of freezing. To try this, you will need:

Melting Icebergs

This week's experiment comes from a report I recently heard on National Public Radio. Unfortunately, I was driving and could not write down the fellow's name, so I could give him proper credit. He was talking about the facts and fictions of global warming. One point that he mentioned was one that I had heard many times and had never thought all the way through. What would happen if the global temperature rose enough for the polar ice caps to melt? All of that extra water would cause worldwide flooding, right? Lets investigate. You will need:

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