Which is the most dense: water, corn syrup, or vegetable oil? Which is the least dense? Try to predict which liquid is more dense.
- 3 150 ml beakers (or use glass jars or clear plastic cups)
- 600 ml beaker (or use a large jar)
- corn syrup
- vegetable oil
- food coloring
What You Do:
- Place a few drops of food coloring into the beaker of water so you will be able to tell it apart from the other liquids. (This is not necessary if you are using dark corn syrup.)
- Carefully pour each of the liquids into a 600 ml beaker or a large jar. Let them settle.
- What happened? Did the three liquids mix together or separate into layers? Which liquid is at the bottom of the jar? Which is at the top?
Was your prediction right? If so, the liquid you thought was densest should be at the bottom of the jar. The next dense will float on top of that, and the least dense will float at the very top.
Now you know how the densities of the three liquids compare to each other. If you want to find out the approximate density of each, you can calculate it using this formula: Density = Mass/Volume. On Earth we measure mass (how much of a substance there is) by calculating weight (how heavy it is). Weigh each liquid in grams (make sure you subtract the weight of the beaker!) and then divide that number by the volume (number of milliliters) of the liquid. The answer is density in grams per milliliter.