Liesegang Rings

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This display shows slow chemical reactions in colorful crystal formations known as Liesegang Rings. These reactions are similar to those forming the rings in agates. This activity is recommended for upper-level chemistry learners and requires observations over a period of days weeks and months. It's been documented that these reactions will last for up to 30 years. The operating guide details the chemical composition of the five different chemicals and gels, and provides documentation for articles to research for more recipes and background information.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
4 to 24 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 14 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Exhibit, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 250mL sodium silicate solution 40% w/v (water glass)
  • 600mL vinegar (household, 5% acetic acid)
  • stirring plate
  • magnetic stir bar
  • 2L beaker
  • 1L beaker
  • 250mL graduated cylinder
  • 1L graduated cylinder
  • 1.5L storage bottle
  • 1L storage bottle
  • plexiglas barrier
  • cross-section samples of agate with rings
  • 5 250mL graduated cylinders or other suitable containers
  • other chemicals and equipment are listed in Materials Prep in the specific recipe


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation