Andrew1.jpgSide by side comparision of first 3 bottles
Andrew2.jpgClose up of bottle with red food coloring

Andrew’s Lava Lamp Project. Andrew Bullard. The purpose of the experiment was to discover the best ratio of rubbing alcohol and water to mineral oil. The way this ratio was discovered was essentially a glorified version of trial and error. The densities of rubbing alcohol and water were combined to make it as equal as possible to the density of the mineral oil. The principle of density was a major factor in the experiment as it was the core component, balancing the three densities. There were two lava lamps that worked with no problem. However this was a very difficult experiment to replicate as there were a number of problems that came up with reproducibility. The food coloring and the permanent marker dye affected the densities of the water and alcohol solution mix and mineral oil respectively.

The overall experiments worked, only two of the lamps ended up working. There were some initial problems with the originally calculated densities, the original target density was off by .01 grams/milliliter, which is fairly significant and enough to prevent the first two attempts from working. After starting the experiment with a ratio of 1:1 water and alcohol solution to mineral oil it was decided to remove 100mL of mineral oil to give the remaining 150mL more space. With some of the later attempts at creating a lava lamp food coloring was added to color the alcohol + water solution and the dye from a permanent marker was used to color the mineral oil. The coloring of the created some unexpected and unknown problems. First they possibly and probably affected the densities of the their respective adherents. Second the colors bled together making a purplish color. Another issue that revealed itself early in the experiment was that the combining of 70% rubbing alcohol and 100% rubbing alcohol would not equal the density of the mineral oil, since they were both less dense than the mineral oil so they would never add to the density of the oil. Eventually a combination of 100% rubbing alcohol and water was used to reach the target density.

Article Summary + Citation:
LeBlanc, C, and N Murphy. "Should I stay or should I go? Toxic alcohol case in the emergency department." CFP: Official Publication of the Family Physicians of Canada(2009): 46-49. Web. 8 Feb 2010. <>.
In order to prevent the death or other serious medical complications for the patient, a full history must be taken in order rule out other, possibly toxic, substances that could have been ingested as well. To treat the patient anion and osmolar gaps must be calculated to determine which course of action should be taken. To be sure that the amount of toxic material has actually been reduced, two blood tests should be taken hours apart are required. To manage and stop the spreading of the ingested toxic material, alcohol dehyrdogenase blockade with fomepizole would be used. If the patient arrives or degenerates into a comatose state dialysis should be used.