User login


Black Magic (Color Chromatography)


Source Institutions

    The Exploratorium

Add to listGo to activity
Black Magic (Color Chromatography)

With a coffee filter, a black marker, and a cup of water, discover the secret colors hidden in black ink. This activity explores capillary action--how water moves up paper--and chromatography--how different elements of the ink are carried along at different rates, allowing you to see that black ink is actually made up of many different colors.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • scissors
  • white paper coffee filter or paper towel
  • black non-permanent marker (water-based)
  • coffee cup or mug
  • water

Subjects


  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Reflection and Refraction
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories


  • Crime Science

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©1998

Share


User Lists


This resource is part of these lists: