• Question: whats the stuff in lava lamps made of

    Asked by jimbobjones to Daniel, Derek, Ian, Phil, Upul on 20 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Upul Wijayantha

      Upul Wijayantha answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      The stuff in lava lamps is wax. This is denser then water when at room temperature, but expands when heated and becomes less dense than water so floats up.

    • Photo: Derek Mann

      Derek Mann answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      There are two components to the lava lamp. One is wax and the other is water. At room temperature the wax is denser than water and it settles to the bottom of the lamp. When the lamp is heated the wax expands and becomes less dense so it rises through the water until when it gets close to the top it cools slightly, increases its density and falls to the bottom of the lamp again. That in simple terms is how a lava lamp works (I hope, but a physicist might have a different answer!).

    • Photo: Ian Sillett

      Ian Sillett answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Lava. Isn’t it? 🙂

      I don’t know, probably oil or wax or something like that. Why don’t you look it up and report back to us!?

      edit: seems that the others in the group know, so scrap the homework!

    • Photo: Daniel Mietchen

      Daniel Mietchen answered on 20 Jun 2010:

      Wax whose density changes more strongly than that of water when heated.