(WFRV) – Glycerin is a common moisturizer that can be found in drugstores and supermarkets. It is also the starting material in making nitroglycerin, which is the liquid found in dynamite. The glycerin itself is odorless, and a denser liquid similar to hand sanitizer in consistency.
Did you know that the colorless liquid can also make for a cool magic trick?
Do it yourself experiment:
Materials: All you need for this experiment is an empty bottle of tabasco, 2-3 six-ounce bottles of glycerin and 1 clear drinking glass.
- Fill the tabasco bottle and drinking glass with water
- Notice how when you put the smaller bottle of tabasco in the drinking glass you can see the entire bottle
- Fill the tabasco bottle to the top with glycerin using a cooking funnel
- Take the drinking glass and fill it about half full of glycerin
- Finally, place the tabasco bottle full of glycerin in the drinking glass
What is going on?
Notice the difference before and after. You cannot see the bottom of the tabasco bottle within the drinking glass! Light travels through the glass and glycerin at the same exact speed. Therefore, our eyes cannot adjust and see where the boundary of the bottle is. This makes the tabasco bottle disappear and seem invisible to our eyes in the glycerin.
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This experiment can work for other types of drinking glasses. However, the invisible bottle trick will not work for plastics.