Erupting Volcano

A special effects project by Zoe, Janet and Cate

INTRODUCTION

Our special effect is an erupting volcano and we did this by using “elephant's toothpaste" instead of the typical baking-soda-and-vinegar. This different method resulted in a more impressive eruption.

WHAT HAPPENED

To create the effect, we combined food coloring, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast. A reddish foam rose over the top of the volcano, spilling out over the sides and giving the impression of an eruption. It was, in our opinion, "really cool".

And... some real time footage!

CHEMISTRY CONNECTIONS *oh yes we did*

  • When hydrogen peroxide and yeast were combined, they reacted with one another, creating the “foam” effect. Since yeast makes things rise chemically, the foam rose out of the volcano.

  • We had to take multiple safety precautions.

    • We had to wear goggles

    • We had closed shoes

    • We couldn’t touch the hydrogen peroxide mixture because it was dangerous… :)

THE 3 STATES OF MATTER AND HOW WE KNOW WHICH IS WHICH

  • SOLID- a solid, the "reliable one", can keep its shape and mass indefinitely, no matter the container
  • LIQUID- a liquid is a bit less goody-two-shoes- it keeps its mass like a solid, but can change its shape to fit any container
  • GAS- a gas is the rebel of the states of matter- it basically does anything it wants. As well as changing its shape to fit any container, it can expand to fill the container too.

Phase Changes

There were no phase changes when the volcano first erupted- liquid went in the volcano, and liquid went out. However, later we added dry ice and some elephant's toothpaste froze into a solid. The dry ice also sublimated from a solid to a gas.

MOLECULAR MOTION

  • The molecules in solids are compact and have very little movement.
  • The molecules in liquids tend to be a bit more spaced apart, and can move past one another.
  • The molecules in gases can be any distance apart, and can move without restriction.

CREDITS

All credit goes to Cate, Janet and Zoe (take note that this is not order of importance but alphabetical)

APPLICATIONS

A special effect like this could be used in...

  • A documentary where nobody wants to get close to an actual volcano
  • A mysteriously overflowing container (substituting the volcano with something else)