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Does electricity flow differently or better through salt water, sugar water, Fantastik, Windex, orange juice and milk?

(-----) February 9, 2008

I want to perform a science experiment for my 4th grade science fair, and my teacher signed off on my problem/question. It's like the others here except I am not thinking about using household electricity In order to keep this experiment safe yet effective,should I get a large battery and run a wire into the liquid? If so, should we then run another wire out of the liquid to a lightbulb? I realize the wires shouldn't touch...but would this even work enough to light the bulb? I found the discussion here about electricity and water and thought I would ask the experts. Thanks for your time.

Liam R
student - Chatham, New Jersey

VOM meter

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February 12, 2008

I have not done the experiment, Liam, but my bet is that none of these liquids will be conductive enough to allow you to power a lightbulb. If you have a resistance meter (a VOM) you can measure the resistivity of these various solutions though, and rank the liquids by their resistivity.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 13, 2008

I am not in favor of a 4th grade student messing around with household electricity. It CAN kill some people in the right conditions.
Batteries do not deliver a constant voltage over a long period of time. Consider using a small and cheap 6V battery charger.

You need to do some homework on resistance and resistivity.

You need to have a method of having non reactive electrodes (stainless or titanium should do) of a constant size and distance apart. They need to be well cleaned and very well rinsed between each measurement. This may, repeat may, require sanding with very fine wet/dry sandpaper. Do not try to use the cheap yellow /red stuff. Garnett is fine for wood, but not for doing wet sanding.

Remember, if you use a 6 volt power source, you will need a 6 volt bulb.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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