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Name: Allie
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: TN
Country: USA
Date: N/A 


Question:
For my science project, we expected Smarties candy to dissolve more quickly in Sprite or vinegar, but it dissolved most quickly in water. Can you tell me why?



Replies:
Allie-- Congratulations on discovering something about nature! Since Smarties are mostly sugar, we can simplify the problem by just using sugar. Is there a limit as to how much sugar can be dissolved in water? Sprite already has some sugar, while vinegar does not. So now you are at the point that most scientists often find themselves: extending their study.

Try taking 200 ml of room temperature water, and see how much sugar you can dissolve into it. Use a large enough container so that it can handle the stirring and additional volume of the sugar. Add it about a teaspoonful of sugar at a time,and stir. Add more sugar only after the "current" teaspoonful dissolves. You need to be patient with this, as it may take some time to do. Do the same with the Sprite. Make sure the Sprite is at room temperature, and try dissolving sugar into it, just as with the water. Then repeat with the vinegar. While you are at it, try cooking oil, and maybe some other liquid. Does the kind of liquid matter? This extended experiment may help you understand the results of your original experiment.

Keep up the good work!
---Nathan A. Unterman


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