Hooked on Science: Soda geyser

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Create a soda geyser with five simple materials.

Materials

* Mentos

* Sheet of paper

* Tape

* Index card

* 2-liter bottle of soda

Instructions

STEP 1: Create a launcher tube by rolling the sheet of paper into a tube. Make sure the tube is a little bigger than the diameter of the Mentos. Use the tape to hold the paper in place.

STEP 2: Open the 2-liter bottle of soda, place the soda on the ground and put the index card over the opening.

STEP 3: Load the candy into the launcher tube.

STEP 4: Place the launcher tube directly above the opening of the 2-liter. Keep the index card between the bottle and the launcher tube.

STEP 5: Quickly remove the index card, allowing the Mentos to fall into the bottle of soda. Stand back and watch the soda geyser.

Explanation

The tiny dents on the surface of the Mentos are perfect nucleation points. When the Mentos are dropped into the soda the carbon dioxide gas bubbles in the soda attract to these tiny dents. When this happens there is a rapid release of carbon dioxide gas creating a soda geyser.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website www.hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments.

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