Sunday, September 12, 2010

Physical and Chemical Properties of Marshmallows

     I chose to experiment with the chemical and physical properties of marshmallows because I decided it would be a fun, interesting, and safe experiment. I discovered five chemical properties and six physical properties of marshmallows. I tested four marshmallows for this experiment, and also included a fifth additional marshmallow that I left in it's original condition. First, I microwaved Marshmallow #1 for 30 seconds. The marshmallow expanded to roughly the size of a teacup and much of the marshmallow turned a brownish color. With Marshmallow #2, I placed it in a cup of hot water and after about three hours, it finally dissolved. Next, I put Marshmallow #3 in the freezer for two hours and it completely hardened. When I removed Marshmallow #3 from the freezer, i was able to use a hammer against it about five times before parts of the marshmallow began to crumble. Finally, I used a metal utensil to light Marshmallow #4 on fire. The marshmallow proceeded to turn black and the texture turned rough. The flame shut itself out, but not before the marshmallow had been burned. The chemical properties I observed include: 1) The ability to expand when heated (change in temperature); 2) The ability to change color when heated; 3) The ability to dissolve in hot water; 4) The ability to freeze; and 5) The ability to burn. The physical properties I observed include: 1) Color: white; 2) Density: marshmallow is less dense than water; 3) Conductivity: extremely poor; 4) Attraction to magnets: non-existent; 5) Malleability: slightly malleable when frozen; and 6) Hardness: very soft.

The following is an image containing the results of the experiment: