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The Ivory Soap Experiment

Visualize gas expanding, right before your very eyes.

The Ivory Soap Experiment Experiment

Materials Checklist

The Ivory Soap Experiment Experiment

Questions and Things to Notice

Ivory brand soap is full of millions of air bubbles. This was actually a mistake when Ivory soap was invented, but it turned out to be helpful in the bath tub (Ivory soap floats!). In this experiment, by heating up a bar of Ivory soap, we'll be able to visualize exactly what happens when a gas is heated.

Procedure

  1. Step 1

    Place the bar of soap in the bowl. The bowl should be microwave safe and big enough to hold about one liter of liquid.

  2. Step 2

    Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave it for two minutes. What's happening?

  3. Step 3

    After the two minutes has ended, do not immediately take the bowl out of the microwave. Wait five minutes first and then remove it, when the foam has cooled.

  4. Step 4

    As an added bonus, you can still use the soap! It makes a great bubble bath.


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Materials Checklist