Does Salt Conduct Electricity? How about Sugar?
Did you even know that salt was a conductor? I surely didn’t until I ran across this interactive simulation from University of Colorado at Boulder’s PheT project. This is pretty cool.
To try this out, click on the simulation where it says “click to run”. A Java applets will run and open up the simulation. (the first this takes a moment)
Use your mouse to slide the little blue button on the water faucet to the right. Water should pour into the container. Don’t forget to turn off the water.
Then click on the salt shaker and move your mouse back and forth the sprinkle salt in the water. The little bar graph on the right will show you the concentration of salt in the water.
Next, click on the circuit in the conductor box on the lower right side, and drag that so the positive and negative ends are in the water. Watch what happens to the light bulb.
To further explore the effects of concentration and conductivity, you can sprinkle more salt, remove the salt, add sugar, play with a mixture of salt and sugar – even evaporate the water some and see what happens to the flow of electricity through the circuit. Fascinating.
Teachers & homeschool moms and dads, the teacher’s guide for this salt and water conductivity simulation is found here.Note: Having trouble getting the simulation to work? Be sure you have Java and Flash installed. Troubleshooting instructions are found here