All matter is composed of particles which
are in constant random motion. What is the effect of temperature on the
speed of these particles? To answer this question, you will need to use
some common materials and do an experiment. You will use food coloring
and different temperatures of water to test a hypothesis.
Problem: How will differences in temperature
change the rate at which food coloring spreads throughout water?
- Two beakers or glasses
- Warm water
- Cold water (suggestion - add ice to water before using it)
- Food color with dropper
- Watch, clock, or stop watch
- Fill one beaker or glass with a measured volume of warm water.
- Fill the second beaker or glass with an equal measure of cold water.
- Make sure the water in both containers has seemed to stop moving
after the container was filled.
- Carefully put one drop of food coloring in each container.
- Use the watch, clock, or stop watch to determine how long it takes
for the food coloring to diffuse (spread equally) throughout both containers.
Instead of doing the activity, you may choose to use this link
to view a QuickTime movie comparing food coloring put into hot and cold
- Which container did you expect to have the fastest diffusion of food
- How much longer did the food coloring take to diffuse in one container
than in the other?
- How could you vary the water temperature to get the same results
as this experiment?
- How do your experiment results explain the differences between the
phases of matter?