Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dry Ice #7: Colored Mist

This is the seventh segment in a series on dry ice experiments. CLICK HERE FOR SAFETY INFORMATION.

In our last segment, we made LOTS of mist with dry ice and warm water. Wouldn't it be fun if it was clouds of COLORED mist? 

We placed a chunk of dry ice in one of the large glasses and dropped food coloring into the glass. We used our observation skills to see that the food coloring froze. Then we added warm water. The water melted the food coloring, so it dissolved into the solution. 

But as we watched, we saw that the mist was not colored.


The mist is formed because the sublimating gas is colder than the surrounding air. This causes the water droplets to condense from the air. The dye is not 'traveling' from the glass into the mist. The water is coming from the air itself. 

But it's still really cool to see bubbling green, blue, or red liquids spewing mist. 

By the way, the only ways to get colored mist is to either shine colored lights on the mist or use smoke or powder. Smoke differs from mist in that it has solid particles. 

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