lava lamp

Decent Essays
Lava Lamp

Science Investigatory Project

Submitted by:
Keanu Kent B. Gargar

IV – St. Ezekiel

A lava lamp (or Astro lamp) is a decorative novelty item, invented by British accountant Edward Craven-Walker in 1963. The lamp contains blobs of colored wax inside a glass vessel filled with clear liquid; the wax rises and falls as its density changes due to heating from an incandescent light bulb underneath the vessel. The appearance of the wax is suggestive of pāhoehoe lava, hence the name. The lamps are designed in a variety of styles and colours.
The underlying fluid mechanics phenomenon is a form of Rayleigh–Taylor instability.
The bulb is normally 25 to 40 watts. Generally it will
…show more content…
Any tightly sealable container works, but you probably have an empty water bottle laying around somewhere. Add oil, water, and food coloring to the bottle. Fill the bottle 3/4 of the way full with vegetable oil, then top it off with water and about 10 drops of food coloring (or enough to make the solution appear fairly dark). Cut an Alka-Seltzer or Airborne tablet into pieces. You can either ration the pieces to make your lava lamp last longer or add more than one piece at a time for more interesting effects. Add pieces of the tablet to the bottle. This will cause the mixture to bubble. Repeat every time the bubbling stops. Unfortunately, with this type of lava lamp, the effects are temporary. Put the cap on and tip the bottle back and forth. This will cause the tiny droplets of colored water moving around inside the oil to join together, making bigger lava-squirt blobs. That 's what scientists call them, anyway. Place a strong flashlight or search light under the bottle. This will illuminate the bubbles for maximum effect. But don 't leave your bottle on top of a heated surface! Plastic will melt and you 'll get oil everywhere.
With Mineral Oil & Alcohol
Get a glass container. Glass can withstand heat if you want to keep your lava continuously moving -- otherwise plastic will do just fine. Any container that you can
Get Access