MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Can you make sugar crystals using Kool-Aid instead of water

Date: Mon Feb 7 20:26:17 2005
Posted By: Lynn Bry, MD/PhD, Dept. Pathology, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1107718536.Ch

Hi Rachael - Here are a few thoughts you can investigate.

  1. Make certain you weren't using diet Kool-Aid, which has aspartame as the sweetner, and not sugar.
  2. How were you trying to grow crystals - by evaporation, or by placing your sugar/Kool Aid solutions at lower temperature (in the refrigerator, for instance?).
  3. Set up a *positive control* for the situation in which you grew your crystals to make certain your conditions successfully support the growth of crystals. An example of a positive control might be the following:

    If your positive control doesn't grow crystals, then you need to modify your conditions to obtain crystal growth. Some things to try might be:

Hope this helps and good luck with your experiments!

Lynn Bry, Moderator MadSci Network

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