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slug Created with Sketch. Experiment

Flowing Colors

Watch what happens when liquids don't mix.

What You’ll Need
  • cooking oil
  • tall, clear glass
  • water
  • food coloring
What to Do
  1. Pour a one-inch layer of cooking oil into a tall, clear glass.
  2. Fill the glass to near the rim with water. Watch as the oil and water separate into layers.
  3. Then add a few drops of food coloring to the top of the oil. Watch what happens over the next few minutes.
  4. Why do the oil and water separate? And why don’t the droplets of food coloring spread and color the oil as they do in the water? Think of your own best answer. Then read our explanation below.
How It Works

Photo by: Guy Cali Associates, Inc.

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