Rock Candy

Topics: Crystal, Water, Nucleation Pages: 3 (640 words) Published: December 11, 2012
How To Make My Very Own Rock Candy?

What is rock candy? It is actually a collection of large amounts of sugar and that you can "grow" from a sugar-water solution. Sugar, like many other materials, can come in many different physical states. As a solid it can either be without shape, like when it forms cotton candy, or with a highly structure and shape, like when it forms rock candy crystals.

Crystals form when the smallest particles of a substance, the molecules, arrange themselves in an orderly and repetitive pattern. Molecules are too small to see moving around and arranging themselves. So, how do the molecules of a substance get together to form a crystal? First there have to be enough molecules in one area that they have a high chance of bumping into one another. This happens when a solution, which is made up of a liquid and the compound that will be crystallized, is saturated. In the rock candy, the liquid is water and the compound is sugar. A solution is saturated when the liquid holds as much of the compound dissolved in it as possible. When making rock candy, you dissolve as much sugar as possible in water to make a saturated solution. If you add more compound than can dissolve in the liquid, the undissolved bits remain as solids in the liquid. In a saturated solution, the molecules bump into one another frequently because there are so many of them. Occasionally when they bump into each other, the molecules end up sticking together; this is the beginning of the crystallization process, which is called nucleation . Once several molecules are already stuck together, they actively attract other molecules to join them. This slow process is how the crystal "grows."

My hypothesis for the rock candy project is: I think growing rock candy in room temperature will make it grow faster
Materials: 4 cups of boiling water
3 cups of sugar
pot and burner
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