Science: Producing Quicksand Essay, Research Paper
Goal: To see if I can make quicksand and to see how it works.
Apparatus: Plastic aquarium, plastic tubing (make sure that a portion of it is able to fit around the output of the chemical lawn sprayer), Plexiglas, cardboard, brass tubing, 2 hose barbs, 2 connectors, chemical lawn sprayer, plastic jug (to hold the same amount that the sprayer will), gas shut off-valve, small plastic cup, silicon sealer, epoxy, marker or pen, razor, wood, tape, scissors or knife, rocks, fine sand, sandpaper, drill, waterproof tape, jigsaw (or another saw that can cut Plexiglas), heavy object, string.
Procedure: First you need the cardboard and the aquarium. Take the aquarium and place it on the cardboard. Then take a marker or pen and trace the shape of the aquarium onto the cardboard. Then cut out the shape and see if it fits tightly into the aquarium. If it doesn’t then make necessary adjustments, if it is to big then cut a little bit off, if it is to small then you need to get a new piece. Once the cardboard fits into the aquarium then take it and place it on the Plexiglas. Place tape on the Plexiglas so that when you put the cardboard onto the Plexiglas the edges of the cardboard are in the middle of the tape. Then use a pen to trace the cardboard shape onto the tape. Use a saw to cut the Plexiglas where the line is. Next, take the brass tubing and find a drill bit that is just a little bit bigger than it and use the drill bit to drill holes into the top of the Plexiglas. When you drill put a piece of wood on the other side of the Plexiglas so the Plexiglas won’t crack or break. Cut the brass tubing to 2 inches long and fit them into the holes you drilled into the Plexiglas. Now glue the Plexiglas into the aquarium. To do this, place the Plexiglas into the aquarium where you want it, and take a pen and draw around the edges. The epoxy directions tell you to sand the surface you are gluing so it is rough. So take sand paper and sand the pen lines. Use the epoxy and put it on the edge of the Plexiglas, or put it in the sanded part of the aquarium. Put the Plexiglas in the aquarium and let it sit to dry. Use wood to hold it up so it won’t fall down.
Next drill a hole on one side of the aquarium. It needs to be just a little bigger than one of your hose barbs. Be careful not to crack the aquarium when you drill. Screw in the hose barb. Now, on the other side of the aquarium, drill another hole for the other hose barb. When you get done drilling, screw in the other hose barb. Now take the silicon sealer and put it around the edges of where the Plexiglas and aquarium meet, also put some around the edges of the hose barbs, this is to prevent water leakage.
Next, take the small plastic cup, drill a small hole into it, so that the plastic tubing will fit into it snuggly. Next drill really small holes evenly all around it. Now take a small section of the plastic tubing, about 4-5 inches, fit it in the inside of one of the hose barbs. Make it so that it is inside the aquarium. Connect it to the plastic cup and use waterproof tape to tape down the hose. Stick the plastic cup, upside down, as close as possible to the center of the aquarium. When you put the rocks and sand in, it will go and stay at the bottom.
Now take two sections of plastic tubing, size doesn’t really matter, just so they are long enough, that together they will be able to go from the sprayer to the hose barb on the aquarium. Hook one end of each hose into the connectors. Screw the other end of the connectors into the gas shut-off valve. Hook one of the hoses into the sprayer. Put the other one onto the hose barb that the plastic cup is hooked up to.
Now take the plastic jug and more plastic tubing. Hook one end of the plastic tubing to the outside of the other hose barb. stick the other end of the hose into the plastic jug. This will collect all the water you spray into the aquarium. Make sure all the epoxy and silicon sealer is dry, and then take small rocks, and put them into the bottom of the aquarium. Put them one the side that has the plastic cup in it. Have someone hold the plastic cup for you so it won’t move when you put the rocks in. Put in the rocks so they just go over the cup, then pour in find sand. Pour in sand so that it is just under the brass pipes in the Plexiglas. Leave about an inch of room.
Now test it. Pour water in the sand so that all of it is wet, then pour water in the sprayer. Make sure the plastic jug is in place to catch the overflow. Close the gas shut-off valve and pump the sprayer full of pressure. Tie string to the heavy object so you can retrieve it, and then place it in the sand. Now slowly open the gas shut-off valve.
Data: I observed that the sand is tightly compacted even when it is really wet, but when water rises from the top, it separates the sand.
Conclusions: When a heavy object is place in wet sand it won’t sink. Even if the sand is under water, and the object is still placed on it, it won’t sink. But when you let water rise from underneath, then it creates quicksand by loosening the sand and the object will fall.