Did you know that raw eggs can bounce? I know that sounds crazy, but I’m going to show you an awesome experiment that you can do at home causing a reaction that does just that!
What you’ll need:
- White vinegar
That’s it! Get ready to explore the awesome science of chemistry!
How does it work?
What are eggshells made of? They are made up of a substance called calcium carbonate. This substance is what gives the shells their hardness, which protects what is inside the egg! But what happens when you introduce them to vinegar?
Calcium carbonate and vinegar reaction
Vinegar has an active ingredient called acetic acid. When calcium carbonate is added to vinegar, a reaction begins. This type of reaction is called a chemical reaction. These reactions occur when one or more substances are altered into another because their atoms are rearranged.
What are atoms? They are the building blocks of all things in existence. Everything that we see, touch, taste, and smell are made of atoms! When atoms are altered the original substance or substances are changed into something else. In this case, the acetic acid reacts with the calcium carbonate to make carbon dioxide! Meanwhile, as the two react you can observe the carbon dioxide bubbles that form on the surface of the shell. Since reactions like these take time, it is best to let the egg soak for 1-3 days. Once finished run the egg underwater and gently rub off the white film; this will leave you with a translucent egg!
The end result of the reaction?
Eventually, the acetic acid will eat away at all the calcium carbonate in the shell. For the egg, the acid eats away the hard outer layer of the shell but leaves it intact with the inner membrane! The egg has one more trick up its sleeve; with the outer membrane gone the egg can bounce (just be sure to do this part outside!)
Why does the egg bounce?
I’m so glad you asked! The inner membrane of the egg is called a selectively permeable membrane. That means that some of the vinegar is allowed to pass through due to a process called osmosis (this is the movement of liquid from an area of less concentration to an area of higher concentration i.e. the vinegar in the cup to inside the egg membrane.) By doing this, the vinegar toughens the membrane, allowing the egg to bounce! Isn’t that awesome!
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