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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The color behind the black- break down the colors

What if a black marker was not just black? What if there was other colors in our black marker?
Many markers we own are a mixture of several color pigments in a water based solution. To prove this statement we will use a technique called chromatography.

Chromatography is, as its name indicates, writing (spelling) colors (chrome) and is one of the main techniques used by biochemists to separate mixtures.

Carrying out a chromatography, or break down the colors, at home its possible, using a coffee filter.

What we need:

  • scissors,
  • coffee filter,
  • black marker, non-permanent,
  • cup, or mug,
  • water. 
How to:
  1. Cut the coffee filter in order to get a circular shape;
  2. Draw a straight line with the marker from end to end this circle, about 1 in from the bottom of the circle;
  3. Let it dry;
  4. Fill the cup with 1/2in of water;
  5. Place the circle in the cup, slightly curved, and make sure that the bottom of the circle, the side where you have your line touch the water ;
  6. Wait a few minutes.
What happened?
Water is absorbed by the coffee filter, from down to top, when reach the line, it will take the pigments with it, after a few minutes we can distinguish different colors.
Leave the paper in water until the liquid reach the top of the filter.How many colors can you see?

Try to do this with other markers, with different colors.

Orange Marker

Brown Marker

Green Marker

You can use the same circle but instead of a line draw a ball at the center. Drop several water drops on it.
Using this technique colors will appear as rings!

Et Voilá!
Color color and more color! I've done this several times, they always think it's magic.


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