# A perfect storm in a cup of salt water?

• CharlesConcord
In summary, the conversation discusses the discovery of a temperature gradient in a cup of saturated salt water and the absence of such a gradient in pure water or unsaturated salt water. The experiments were documented in a blog and the individual is continuing to investigate the cause of this gradient. However, they were able to solve the mystery on their own and shared their findings in the blog as well.
CharlesConcord
Hi all:

I have been puzzled by a very simple experiment I did lately. I found there exists a temperature gradient in a cup of saturated salt water--the bottom is about 0.5 Celsius warmer than the top. That is after the solution has been left intact for more than 100 hours. There is no such temperature gradient in a cup of pure water or unsaturated salt water.

I documented these experiments in my blog:

http://molecularworkbench.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-is-bottom-of-cup-of-salty-water.html
http://molecularworkbench.blogspot.com/2010/09/evaporation-is-driving-force.html

I am going to continue my experiments to figure out why. In the meantime, can anyone enlighten me?

Charles Xie

Nice!

## 1. What causes a perfect storm in a cup of salt water?

The perfect storm in a cup of salt water is caused by a combination of factors, including the salt concentration, temperature, and agitation of the water. When these factors are just right, it can create a swirling vortex similar to a natural storm.

## 2. How can I recreate a perfect storm in a cup of salt water?

To recreate a perfect storm in a cup of salt water, you will need to carefully measure and adjust the salt concentration and temperature of the water. Then, using a stirring utensil, create a circular motion in the water to mimic the agitation of wind in a natural storm.

## 3. Why does the water in a perfect storm appear to be spinning?

The spinning motion in a perfect storm is caused by the Coriolis effect, which is a phenomenon that occurs when a fluid is in motion on a rotating surface. In this case, the rotating surface is the Earth, and the spinning motion is created by the swirling vortex in the cup of salt water.

## 4. What happens if I add more or less salt to the water?

Adding more or less salt to the water will change the density and therefore the salt concentration of the water. This can affect the strength and speed of the vortex, potentially creating a larger or smaller perfect storm in the cup.

## 5. Can a perfect storm in a cup of salt water occur naturally?

Yes, a perfect storm in a cup of salt water can occur naturally in certain conditions, such as in ocean whirlpools or during severe weather events like hurricanes. However, it is more commonly created through controlled experiments in a laboratory setting.