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Density Tower

Question: How does salt affect the density of a liquid to create layers of solutions?
Hypothesis: we think that layer of solution can be created by using different amount of
salt in each measure of liquid which will make their density different from one another
and creating a layering tower of solution. The bottom layer has most salt and the top layer
has the least salt.
Apparatus:
-electronic balance
-petri dish
-100 ml measuring cylinder - 2
-120 ml beaker
-spatula
-pipette
Materials:
-table salt
-water
-5 different colors of food coloring: -red
-blue
-green
-yellow
-orange

Procedure:
1) Place the petri dish on the electronic balance
2) Use the spatula to scoop up the salt and place it on the petri dish. Measure add up until
you obtain 5.5 g
3) Measure 20 ml of water using measuring cylinder and pour it in the beaker
4) Dissolve the salt into the water and stir the solution with spatula
5) Add 3 drops of red food coloring into the solution using dropping pipette
6) Our the solution carefully using pipette into the measuring cylinder
7) Repeat the steps from 1 to 6 with different amount of salt in each mixture (4 g, 2.5g
and 1g). Pour in the mixture in order of decreasing salt amount it contains. Each mixture
should be colored different from the others
8) Finally, add the fifth layer of tap water with no salt content into the measuring
cylinder. Add food coloring to it too.
9) Observe the layers created.
-Overall experiment result: The data obtained below is from our third trial. On our first
trial, we didnt consider the saturation of water, while on the second trial there were
lumps of particle forming as we drop the red food coloring to the densest layer. So after
considerations and from these previous trials, we came up with the perfect amount of salt

for the densest layer which is 5.5 g; reducing the salt by 1.5 g for the next layer and so
on.
Data collection and analysis

Layer
Number
1
2
3
4
5

20
20
20
20
20

Amount of Salt (g)

+/- 0.01
5.50
4.00
2.50
1.00
0.00

Color
Blue
Green
yellow
orange
red

Density (g/ml)
1.28
1.20
1.13
1.05
1.00

Table 1. Density of colored water layer in accordance with its water amount and salt
content.
Graph 1. Density (g/ml) of 5 different colored water layer
1.4
1.2
1
0.8

Density (g/ml)

0.6
0.4
0.2
0

Layer level
Below is the density of different layer of water solution based on the amount of water and
salt in each of its content

Discussions
-Trend of data; relationship between height of a layer and its density.
The more the amount of salt content in the water solution, the denser the solution
will be. Graph 1 shows that the more salt the layer contains, the denser it gets and the
value of density descends from layer 1 to layer 5. The difference of each layer is 1.5 g of
salt content; with the bottommost layer containing the most salt, which is 5.5 g.
This trend could be explained by the scientific concept none other than the
density. Density is the compactness of molecules based on relationship of mass and
volume of a particular matter (www.middleschoolchemistry.com); in this case liquid. As
we dissolve salt into the water, the density of the substance increases. This is because salt
molecules occupies the empty spaces between water molecules. In daily life, if an object
has higher density than water it will sink, whereas less dense object will float if its
density is less than the density of water.
Evaluation:
- weakness of your method (planned)
- -possible source of error (especially in data collection)(unplanned)

The method of this experiment has some weaknesses

such as that some of the layers mixed up and creating different height of the layers. In the
future, the dropper should be attached to the wall of the measuring cylinder and dropped
high above as it will reduce the gravity effect and friction would also slow down the
speed of the dropped liquid. Another weakness is that we planned to dissolve 200 g of
salt. At that time, we didnt consider the saturation of water.
The possible errors in the experiment could come from the leftover liquid of some
layers as not all the volume of liquid of a layer is fully added to the measuring cylinder.
Conclusion:
From this experiment, it can be concluded that the hypothesis is supported. Salt
does affect the density of water and making it able to differs the density of several water
solutions, thus making us able to create layers of solution. The more salt we dissolve, the
higher its density would be. Thus, the solution containing the most salt stayed in the
lowest position in the measuring cylinder.
For further research, it is suggested to use sugar as it doesnt have the maximum amount
to be dissolved in water while salt has.
http://www.csub.edu/chemistry/_files/Density%20Column.pdf
http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/homeexpts/layeredliquids.htm