Extreme Science: Dense Drinks - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Extreme Science: Dense Drinks

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Dense Drinks

What you will need:

  1. Sink full of water or fish tank full of water
  2. Various canned drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Mountain Dew, Sprite, etc. Make sure that you have some sugar free drinks as well.
  3. Adult supervision

Procedure:

1) Once you fill your tank or sink with water, slowly place your drinks one at a time into the water making sure to tip them to the side as you lower them in. This will ensure that you do not trap an air bubble on the bottom of the can.

2) Look at all of the cans that sank to the bottom and compare their ingredients to the cans that floated at the top of the water.

What is going on?

You will notice that all of the cans of the same size have the same amount of fluid (or drink) inside of them. This amount is considered the Volume. The “Volume” refers to how much SPACE the liquid is taking up inside the can. In most cases, a can of soda is 12 fl oz (fluid ounces) or 355 ml. Most of the energy drink however, are 16 fl oz or 473 ml.

You should notice that all of the drinks that sank to the bottom contain sugar and I mean LOTS of it! The ones that I looked at had anywhere from 27 to 43 grams of sugar in them. Now even though the sugar is dissolved in the liquid that it taking up that 473 ml of space (remember that’s the volume) the sugar actually has more Mass than the rest of the drink. Basically, the more Mass that something has, the heavier it is. Since the sugar has more mass, this makes these drinks heavier causing them to sink to the bottom of your sink full of water. Since the other drinks do not have all of this sugar weighing them down, they are able to float due to a small air bubble that is left in the top of each can. Whether the drink has sugar or not, there is still an air bubble at the top of the can, but the sugar has enough mass to sink the can even with this air bubble in the can.

Most diet or sugar free drinks are sweetened using an artificial sweetener like Aspartame. Since Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, they only use a very small amount to sweeten your drink. Aspartame and sugar are both more dense than water but since they only use a small amount, the diet drinks can still float.

Remember Volume is measured in fluid ounces or liters/milliliters whereas Mass is measured in Grams.

Radical Rick
Extreme Science
www.ExtremeScienceFun.com

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