How to Make This Amazing 9-Layer Density Tower from Things Found in Your Kitchen

Ever gone to a bar and ordered a B-52? These layered drinks are not just impressive to look at—they're also great demonstrations of the principle of density.

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Photo by Science of Drink

The layers work because less dense liquids will always float on top of denser ones. This is the same thing that causes juice to separate and oil to float on top of water. It also makes for a great science experiment.

This is the Amazing 9 Layer Density Tower, an experiment by Steve Spangler that uses liquids of different densities to create layers in a glass. It's a twist on his 7 Layer Density Column, and even has a few small objects floating in the layers to make it look even cooler.

As you can see from the picture, you probably have most of the materials at home already. The process is simple. Measure out the liquids, using food coloring for the water and rubbing alcohol.

Layer the honey, corn syrup, and maple syrup in the bottom of the glass, making sure not to let anything touch the sides. You'll need to use a turkey baster (or other utensil) for the rest of the layers.

Once you're finished, carefully drop in the solid objects, and they'll automatically float in whichever liquid has the closest density to their own. Check out the video and the project page for more details.

Don't have all the ingredients? Here's a simpler version you can try. Be sure to upload your results in the Inspiration section!

1 Comment

way cool and creepy because I'm sure this all goes into our water supply.

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