Principle of a real lava lampAlso known as Astro light or Lava Lite, the real commercial lava lamp was invented by Edward Craven Walker in 1963. Elongated, it works from wax bubbles immersed in an immiscible liquid (which does not mix with wax). The colored wax bubbles are heated by the heat of the incandescent bulb located at the base of the lamp. On heating, the bubbles become lighter and rise to the surface where they cool down to the bulb. This phenomenon is repeated continuously as soon as the lamp is lit, according to the principle of convection.
Principle of an ephemeral artisanal lava lampUnlike a commercial lava lamp that works indefinitely, the handmade lamps shown in the videos below, are temporary lamps. They give a similar result visually but do not consist of the same ingredients and stop working when the chemical reaction is over.
For crafting the lava lamp you need:
- a mason jar
- vegetable oil
- Food coloring
So you can build the lava lamp yourself:
- Half fill the preserving jar with vegetable oil. Then comes the first great effect in this experiment, because now you fill the jar with water. Looks good, how the water pushes under the oil, right?
- Next, add a few drops of food coloring. These two slowly sink down through the oil and mix with the water.
- Do not worry, that was not yet the lava lamp effect, because we still have the dishwasher: Break the tab in two parts and let the first part sink into the oil.
- As soon as the first part of the tab arrives at the bottom of the colored water layer, it starts to bubble. Now your lava lamp is starting to shoot colorful bubbles upwards. Once at the top they go slowly back to the diving station.
- This happens now until the dishwasher is used up. But we still have the other half! Immerse them in the oil and the spectacle in the lava lamp starts from scratch.
- You can repeat the experiment with the lava lamp until you have no more dishwasher tablets in the house. (But better ask your parents before you all use up!)
How to make a multicolored lava lamp?
The equipment used
- Glitter dispenser
- Syringe 20 ml
- Empty jar with lid
- Cotton swabs
- Baby oil
- Strong glue
- Pour all the flakes into the empty jar and close again.
- Pour a stock of water into each compartment of the flake dispenser using the syringe.
- Put a little dye on the cotton swab and mix it in the water of a compartment.
- Repeat with 6 different color dyes for each water compartment.
- Fill in the compartments with baby oil.
- Seal the operculum with strong glue and close the lid tightly.
The lava lamp (bicarbonate and vinegar)The red bubbles flow into the bottom of the vase and react with the components and release carbon dioxide, which reduces their density and cause them to rise to the surface. The reaction stops when there is no more vinegar.
The equipment used
- High vase in transparent glass
- Food baking soda powder
- Vegetable oil of colza
- Food coloring (red, yellow, blue …)
- White vinegar
- Pour the baking powder into the bottom of the vase (about 2 tablespoons)
- Empty the bottle of oil completely into the vase.
- In the glass, mix the vinegar with a little red food coloring.
- Take the red liquid with the pipette and pour it drop by drop into the vase.