Easter Eggsperiments

Shows colourful eggs to illustrate the experiment

We eat more eggs during the week of Easter than any other week of the year. What better time, then, to try some new experiments with eggs? Eggsperiments, if you will. This article contains two eggsperiments that you can do at home.

Colourful eggs

Shows colourful eggs to illustrate the experiment

Equipment

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Different food colouring
  • 7% vinegar or lemonjuice
  • Glasses
  • Lace, string or something else to wind around the eggs
  • Rubber bands

Instructions

  1. Wind lace or something else around the eggs and secure it with rubber bands. The rubber bands alone give a nice, striped effect.
  2. Fill a glass with water. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar or 1/2 a tablespoon lemonjuice and a good amount of food colouring. Make as many different colours as you wish.
  3. Place the eggs into the liquid for at lest 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove the eggs and let them dry before you remove the lace.
  5. If you want to, try moving the egg to a new colour mixture to colour the parts thar remain white.
  6. The colourful eggs are edible and make a great breakfast!
Eggs in colour mixture to illustrate the experiment

What happens?

Vinegar and lemonjuice are both acids. The acid dissolves the outer layer of the egg shells, allowing the food colouring to better attach to the eggs. The chemical explanation is that the acids release positive charges, also known as protons, that react with the egg shells. The vast majority of food colouring consists of negatively charged molecules. Opposite charges attract one another and the colour molecules therefore bind to the surface of the egg.

We feel a sour taste when we eat acids like vinegar and lemonjuice. The sour taste occurs when protons bind to our tastebuds. All acids taste like this, but many of them are strong enough to ruin our skin. There are many acids we should never taste but handle with great care.

Shows colourful eggs to illustrate the experiment

Fold an egg

Eggs are hard and round, but with a little help from chemistry and physics you can make an egg so soft that you can fold it. Afterwards, you can blow it up to its original round shape again.

Equipment

  • 1 egg
  • 7% vinegar
  • A glass
  • A spoon
  • A needle

Instructions

  1. Use the needle to poke a hole in both ends of the egg. Blow into one of the holes to remove the content. Use this for scrambled eggs.
  2. Rinse the egg in water and place it in a glass.
  3. Fill the glass with vinegar. Use the spoon as a weight to make sure that the egg stays submerged in vinegar.
  4. Let it rest in the vinegar until the next day.
  5. If the shell isn’t completely dissolved, change the vinegar and let it stay in the glass for one more day. Your final result should be a thin membrane.
  6. Remove the membrane from the vinager and rinse it water. Gently dry off with paper. Squeeze the membrane carefully to remove any remaining water and vinegar. Let it dry for a few minutes. The membrane feels rubber-like and you can fold it into a tiny ball.
  7. But how can you make the membrane return to its egg-shape without blowing? Hold your hands flatly and roll the membrane back and forth between your hands. The membrane regains its egg-shape as it fills with air.
Shows an egg membrane to illustrate the experiment

What happens?

You’ll notice that bubbles form around the egg shell as you submerge it in vinegar. The egg shell consists of calcium carbonate which reacts with the acid and dissolves. The tiny bobbles occur because carbondioxide gas forms as a part of the chemical reaction. When the entire shell has dissolved, you’re left with just the egg’s membrane.

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