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Diffusion of alcohol through a gel

Question asked by Stephanie Morris on Nov 12, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 15, 2018 by Stanley Seelig

Hi there - I am writing a science activity for elementary students for a STEM camp focusing on the science of slime. The activity involve demonstrating diffusion. I made clear slime with borax and glue, please a small amount in a petri dish and added a drop of food coloring to the center of the dish. The campers will watch and measure the color as it diffuses over a period of time.


For kicks, I decided to repeat the experiment using some alcohol ink I have on hand. When I added a drop of the alcohol ink, it spreads a small amount very quickly and then stops. What's the chemistry behind the different behavior?


Additionally, I filled a plastic lid with slime and added several drops of different colored alcohol ink. When two drops of also ink come in contact with each other they mix quickly.


Of you can help me understand the chemisrey behind this I would certainly appreciate it!


Thank you!