Glowing Goop

Some of you may remember seeing my post, a while back, about NON-NEWTONIAN FLUIDS?! If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth checking it out if you or your kids don’t mind getting messy! πŸ™‚

My kids are always asking to make slime or oobleck so I decided to step up my game on this one and make things a little more interesting.

We decided on oobleck for this time, (we do a TON of slime usually so I fancied a change). Last time we made it we used cornflour and water but I wanted it to be more fun, with a little twist, so we used the following…

First of all… who knew that tonic water glowed in the dark?! Not me until a few weeks ago!!! We’ll talk more about that at the end! πŸ™‚
Mix the potato starch and tonic water together. The consistency is a little different to cornflour & water oobleck, but it still feels good.

We did all our work in our loft/studio with the black light on which made it more fun for my nutty professors and their assistant, (their cousin was with us for the day).

These kids had fun scooping up the oobleck and watching the irregular flow pattern as it ran from their fingers. They pushed things into it and slowly watched it sink, but then tried to mix it with lollipop sticks and found it difficult because the more you move oobleck around, the more solid it becomes.
Because we were working with the black light on, the kids started to notice all the things that it made glow up. I happened to have a bunch of suncatcher paints on the table, that I hadn’t tidied away, and they looked so amazing under the light. We decided to put drops into the oobleck and the results were awesome!
It even made our teeth glow up – but that’s a whole other blog post! πŸ˜‰

So we found out a few things by doing this fun experiment. First of all, we found out the tonic water contains the chemical quinine. This makes the water fluoresce a brilliant, bright blue! This lead us onto looking into what quinine actually is and where it comes from; here is what we found out…

The formula is: C20H24N2O2

QuinineΒ is a common treatment for malaria. Some people believe that it can also help with leg cramps and restless legs syndrome.Β QuinineΒ comes from the bark of the cinchona tree. This tree is native to central and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean and western parts of Africa.

We used potato starch this time, purely to be different and to experiment. If you are really good, you can actually get the starch by prepping the potatoes yourself, but this impatient mama couldn’t be bothered with all that so I just ordered a bag off Amazon – easy! πŸ™‚

Because of the quinine in the tonic water – the oobleck fluoresced under the black light and was so awesome! Adding other glowy, (is that even a word?), things to it just made it all the more fun!

The Chemicool Dictionary gives an awesome definition of fluorescence.

My original post on NON-NEWTONIAN FLUIDS gives an explanation as to what is happening with this experiment but I also found this cool site that gives some more awesome facts.

My kids love doing experiments using the black light, and this was an awesome way of discussing some other details rather than just the oobleck itself. πŸ™‚

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