Liquid Crystals

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Introduction: Liquid Crystals

An experiment with liquids led me to the result of 'liquid crystals'. If you take a closer look, you can see the crystals are made from gelatin. Follow the next steps to create a liquid crystal!

Step 1: Gelatin

First make the gelatin as indicated on the packaging. For one crystal you need just one or two sheets of gelatin. Soak in water, then heat the sheets with 5 spoons water in a pan and mix until it is a smooth jelly.

Step 2: Mold

I made a 'mold' from the tip of a plastic bag, a funnel and a cup, to poor the gelatin into.

Step 3: Color

Add some color to make the crystal complete! I used pink and green ecoline (ink) to drip into the gelatin.
After that you can put it into the refrigerator.

Step 4: Ready!

Step 5: Extra Experiment With Food Coloring

Members like Radiograf and Fixfireleo gave me the tip to try food coloring instead of ink, so the crystals are edible.
The problem with food coloring is that the colors 'sink', you can see this in the first photo.
A little stirring helps. The colors aren't like the ink, but are great if you want to decorate a cake or something like that!

Another nice idea is to use jelly.

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    35 Discussions

    They wouldn't be able to withstand the heat from running a current through it but funny idea lol :)

    thought it was potash alum
    since our hs teach had us do that as a christmas project

    The ink disipates differently due to its viscosity.... think oil in water.... try a food grade coloring powder mixed with water and add in xanthan gum or Carrageenan gum... mix until a similar constitency between the ink and mixture is reached...hope this helps ;-)

    Hi radiograf, nice idea. I thought about it, but when you only add food coloring I think it doesn't taste so good. But I guess I could try to add some fruit or flavours to make it tasteful!

    Tried it! I added one more step to this Instructable dedicated to this experiment.

    color_gelatin.jpg

    at this point i'd just be using jello...... it's basicaly gelatin anyway, and already has flavor....shoudl work the same no?

    these colors are rich and beautiful because they are made with artist-type inks. i doubt you could get the same jewel-like results with food coloring. but i do not know...............

    i also found it amusing. one must have a dry sense of humour to appreciate such bits of witticism.

    if you used food coloring, it should be safe to eat and could be used as decorations on cake, etc.