# Five Layer Density

Topics: Water, Density, Liquid Pages: 10 (1730 words) Published: April 18, 2011
Five-Layer Density Column
A density column consists of layers of liquids of different densities which do not mix with each other, and which are clearly distinguishable from each other. The highest density material is at the bottom of the column, and as you proceed up the column, the density of each successive layer decreases, with the lowest density layer on top. Three methods for construction of a five-layer density column are discussed in this write-up. All methods use the same five liquids. • Method 1 gives the names of the liquids and the order for adding them, and its goal is to directly construct the density column without any experimentation. • Method 2 assumes names and densities of the five materials to be unknown, and involves open-ended experimenting, with few instructions, to construct the column. • Method 3 also assumes names and densities of the materials to be unknown, and outlines a systematic way to approach the experimentation involved in constructing the column.

METHOD 1

METHOD 2
Treat the five materials as unknowns. Play around with them (i.e., experiment!) to determine which ones will allow food color dissolve in them, and the relative order of their densities. Use your results to construct the density column.

Five-Layer Density Column.....9/29/05

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Don Rathjen....Exploratorium Teacher Institute....3601 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123...donr@exploratorium.edu

METHOD 3
Students receive liquids in containers labeled A, B, C, D and E. Neither the identity or density of any of the materials is given. Students also receive a copy of the Data Table below (or have them draw their own if desired). This is what students will fill in as they experiment. (NOTE FOR TEACHERS: In...