Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chromatography: Pinwheel T-Shirt

Sharpie markers may not be soluble in water, but they are soluble in rubbing alcohol.  Use this property to your benefit to create some wearable art (and science)!
Place a dish pan or plastic shoe box inside a plain white shirt.  Pull the shirt taut and rubberband it in place.

Use the markers to make a ring of dots where you want the pinwheel to appear.

Using a dropper, drop rubbing alcohol into the middle of the ring. 

The alcohol will move outward, through capillary action, and carry the ink with it.

If the ink is made of a mixture of colors, you will see the colors separate.  If it's made from a pure color, you will simply see the color radiate outward.

Move the shirt on the box and make another pinwheel. 

Get creative...
...try making your ring of dots with a variety of colors
...what happens if you make your dots in a shape other than a circle?
...what if you start with one central dot?

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