Extreme Science: Baby Diaper Magic - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Extreme Science

Extreme Science: Baby Diaper Magic

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What you will need:

  1. Newspaper
  2. Baby diaper
  3. Scissors
  4. Quart size Ziplock ® baggie
  5. 3 Drinking glasses (not see through)
  6. Water
  7. Adult supervision

Procedure:

  1. Spread a newspaper out over your table.
  2. Get a (NEW) diaper.
  3. Carefully cut diaper in half over the newspaper.
  4. Reach inside of the diaper and pull out all of the cotton fiber and place it inside of the baggie.
  5. Zip baggie closed. Hint – once baggie is almost closed, gently blow some air into the baggie as you are completing the seal.
  6. Shake the baggie to get as much of the powder out of the cotton as possible.
  7. Carefully open the baggie and pour the powder into a glass. Gather any powder that may have also fallen onto the newspaper and place it in the bottom of your glass.
  8. As you pour a small amount of water into the glass over the powder, the powder will absorb the water.

What is going on?

This powder is a super absorbent polymer (SAP). Super absorbent polymers can actually absorb up to 500 times their weight in water (or pee) which is why it is used in baby diapers. Magicians can use it to make it appear that the water has disappeared when actually, it is stuck in the bottom of the glass in the form of a gel.

Try this:

If this super absorbent powder will soak up to 500 times its’ weight in water or pee, do you think it will absorb the same amount of salt water as regular water? What about milk? Orange juice?

Try using the same amount of powder in different containers and pour in the same amount of various liquids (including salt water) to see if there is any difference in the amount of liquid that can be absorbed.

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