Learning Lesson: Salt 'n Lighter
Just as air can have different densities, water can have different densities as well. As the salinity of water increases, the density increases as well. Fresh eggs will float saltwater, but will sink in freshwater. This will show that as the salinity increases the density also increases.
|TOTAL TIME||3 minutes as a demonstration, 10 minutes if students perform the demonstration.|
|SUPPLIES||3 fresh eggs; 3 - 1.5 liter beakers (or quart jars); 6 ounces of salt.|
|SAFETY FOCUS||Turn Around, Don't Drown®|
- Fill each beaker with one liter of tap water (or each quart jar with one pint of water).
- Add 35 grams of salt to one beaker and 290 grams of salt to a second beaker (½ ounce of salt to one quart jar and 4½ ounces of salt to a second jar).
- Ask the students to speculate in which water solution, if any, will the eggs float.
- Place an egg in each solution and observed which egg floats.
Fresh eggs are more dense than fresh water and therefore will sink. However, as the salt content increases in water, it becomes more dense. The egg will float in the two beakers with the added salt. This happens because the added salt makes the water heavier than the egg causing the egg to float.
The solution with the 35 grams of salt represents the salinity of the oceans. The solution with 290 grams of salt added represents the salinity of the Dead Sea. As the salinity increases, the density increases as well. The egg in the beaker with the most salt should float higher that in the other salty solution.
The increased density of the salty water actually increased the weight of the water. An egg will be buoyant (float) if the weight the egg is less than the weight of the water it displaced. The egg sinks if it weights more than the weight of the water that was displaced.
Ships float for the same reason. Their actual weight is less than the weight of the water that is displaced. Since the weight of the water is greater, ships floats. The following are sizes of some large ships and the weight of the that is displaced.
|Ship||Year Built||Type||Owner||Length (Feet)||Width (Feet)||Weight (Tons)|
|Titanic||1912||Liner||White Star Line||883||92||46,328|
|Enterprise||1962||Aircraft Carrier||United States||1,101||133||89,600|
|Ronald Reagan||2003||Aircraft Carrier||United States||1,092||134||101,000|
|Queen Mary 2||2004||Liner||Cunard||1,132||135||149,000|
|Quantum of the Seas||2014||Cruise ship||Royal Caribbean||1,112||127||169,000|
|Oasis of the Seas||2009||Cruise ship||Royal Caribbean||1,184||184||225,000|
|Mont*||1981||Supertanker||Amber Development Corp.||1,504||226||647,000|
|*a.k.a. Knock Nevis, Jahre Viking, Happy Giant, Seawise Giant|
Turn Around, Don't Drown
During periods of very heavy rainfall and flash flooding is occurring, many people risk their lives by driving through flooded roads. People erroneously think their "heavy" vehicle will keep them on the road.
Look once again at the size and weight of the ships in the table above. If these vessels float what would make a person think their puny 2 ton vehicle will not float?