Floating Paper Clips


3 paperclips float on the surface of the water.

Concept Overview:

The presence of a surfactant, soapy water, causes the force holding water molecules next to each other decreases.  This results in decreased surface tension.

Lecturer Procedure for Demonstration

Step(s) to Follow Expected Result

1. Use the paper clip tool to lower a small paper clip into the water. Repeat several times. 

A tool is used to lower paperclips into the water.

The paperclips will float

3 paperclips float on the surface of the water.

2. Use the eye dropper to add a few drops of soapy water near the floating paper clips.

An eye dropper is used to add soapy water to the container of floating paperclips.

The paperclips will sink to the bottom of the container. 























Practice Alert:  This demonstration may require practice on behalf of the lecturer to ensure success.


There is no audio with this recording.

FL: ST - 005