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The Chemistry of Lava Lamps

Chemistry Mid-Term Project

Josh Oslacky

on 25 February 2013

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Transcript of The Chemistry of Lava Lamps

The Chemistry of Lava Lamps By: Josh Oslacky The History The Lava Lamp was originaly called the Astro Lamp
Invented in 1963 by Edward Craven-Walker
Became famous in a trade show in 1965
Popularity grew throughout the 1970's What Its Made Of The "Lava" in the lamps are actually blobs of colored wax
The Liquid the "Lava" floats in is a mixture of water, carbon tetrachloride and mineral oil
The bottles are made of regular glass
The lightbulb used to heat/light the lamp is a incandescent light bulb How It Works The incandescent light bulb is used to heat up the wax and light up the lamp
The "Lava" floats and balls up as the wax changes density due to the heat generated by the light bulb
The water if not left clear is usually colored with dye Explaining The Process Carbon tetrachloride is used to weigh the wax down because it is heavier then water
The heat from the incandescent light causes the wax to expand and float to the top
At the top where it is much cooler, the wax balls cool off and regain their density
The cooled, denser balls of wax then fall back down to be re-heated and repeat the process
This is how the "Lava" balls in the lamp float up and down C The Original Lamps The Very first lava lamps didn't have half the selection that there is today
When they first came out all Lava Lamps shared the same gold base
They were all about the same size
The only liquid color options were yellow or blue
The only "Lava" color options were red or white DANGER!!! Lava Lamps are only meant to be heated by the incandescent lightbulb they are supplied with
If overheated, a lava lamp can explode
In 2004 a man named Phillip Quinn was killed in an attempt to super heat his lava lamp on his kitchen stove
The Lamp exploded causing a piece of the glass container to puncture his heart and kill him
The Wax and heated water also left his body with 3rd degree burns Lava? Their is no actual lava in a Lava Lamp
So how did this Lamp get such a name?
The Lava Lamp was never actually officially named a "Lava Lamp" until later on
It was Originally called the "Astro-Globe"
However the name was changed to "Lava Lite"
Named after the company that bought the American rights to the invention Their are over 150 different combinations of Lava Lamps in existence today
A big change from the only two combinations available when they first debuted
However with all of the different variations no two Lava Lamps are exactly the same Lamps On Lamps On Lamps Popularity The Lava Lamp was released in the early sixty's
It was said that the seventies was the most popular decade for them
It was also said that they would become extinct by the end of the eighties
However Lava Lamp sales of the 1990's exceed that of any other decade Random Facts The inventor of the Lava Lamp (Edward Craven-Walker) was a World War II pilot
The Largest Lava Lamp in the world is 4 feet tall
The most expensive Lava Lamp ever sold was sold for $15,000.00 Edward Craven-Walker Born in Singapore on July 4th 1918
Was a pilot in WWII flying a DeHavilland Mosquito over Nazi occupied Germany
Invented the Lava Lamp and produced nudity films
Married to Marjorie Bevan Jones
Died from cancer in London on August 15 2000 at the age of 82 Edward Craven-Walker Carbon Tetrachloride Carbon Tetrachloride is a very poisonous chemical compound
Once used in some class A fire exstinguishers and still used in lava lamps it can be very harmful
Exposure to high concentrations can lead to damage of the nervous system, kidneys, liver, and ultimately, coma and or death Creation of Carbon Tetrachloride Originally formed by a reaction between Chloroform and Chlorine
Now it is typically produced from Methane
CH4 + 4 Cl2 → CCl4 + 4 HCl
Has Practically no flammability at lower temperatures
Due to how dangerous it can be, chemists try to replace it in every aspect they can from fire extinguishers to basic cleaning products Carbon Tetrachloride Density and Heat The reason the Lamps work are because of heat and density
If it werent for the reaction from the heat that causes the wax to expand and rise, then Lava Lamps would just be colored wax in a glass
Chemistry explains the mystery of what appears to be magic
Lava Lamps are just one example Works Cited http://inventors.about.com/od/lstartinventions/a/lava_lamp.htm
http://welovegarbage.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/10-facts-you-didnt-know-about-lava-lamps/ Outline #3
Inventor : Edward Craven-Walker
Became famous in a trade show
Noticed by a german entrepreneur
Incandescent lightbulbs
Water color
How it works
What causes the lamp to make the wax float
In depth about why it works
Original colors and style
Danger about explosion
Phillip Quinn
Naming of the Lamp #10
How many different types of lamps
Different styles
Years of popularity
4ft tall
15 thousand dollars
Nude film maker
Dangers it poses
Chloroform + Chlorine
Lighten, Expand, and Rise
Full transcript