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Stop Motion of Einstein

Evolving Education

Episode 01: Capillary Action

Material Used

For this experiment, we need 4 things:

  1. Food colour
  2. Two glasses
  3. Paper towel
  4. Water

Conducting the Experiment:

  • 1. Begin with two identical glasses and place them next to each other and pour some water into the first glass. (we will fill half of this glass)
  • 2. Add some food colour, we will add 1 teaspoon of the food colour.
  • 3. Grab the paper towel and fold it exactly like this.
  • 4. Now place it on top of the glasses, and wait for exactly 1 hour.

Scientific Principle and Application

Question: How can the water climb up from one glass into the other?

Well, the only thing connecting the two glasses is? The paper towel! The water climbs up using the paper towel from one glass into the other. But wait, how can water climb up against gravity that pulls everything else down? Water is able to move up by sticking itself strongly to the paper towel.

This ability of water to move up by sticking itself to another material is called capillary action.

But friends, Capillary action is only possible for things that have small pores or spaces inside for water to enter, stick and spread through. One such thing that we use every day in our kitchens is a sponge.

A sponge has so many pores that even a tiny little droplet of water can easily move up and spread through the whole sponge. Isn’t this a cool way of using water without wasting it? From filling ink into a fountain pen to cleaning a wet floor with your mop , everything is because of Capillary Action. In fact capillary action makes life easy by moving liquids up.

And plants? They simply can’t live without capillary action. Thanks to capillary action, the water in the roots can go all the way up to the stem and finally into the leaves. So friends, now that you know what capillary action is, let’s see how many examples can you gather. And do write to us in the comment section below. So see you next time! Toodles!

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