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Dissolved salt sprays out of the water

  1. Apr 23, 2012 #1
    I have done a small experiment I dissolved salt into normal tap water using a shaker...

    I put as much salt as the specific quantity of water could dissolve no more no less...

    I left the cup there for a while and after some time I saw that salt was spreading ABOVE the water level and OUTSIDE of the glass...

    how could this be possible???

    EDIT: If you are not sure either forward this to a physics guy maybe he knows something too.. :P
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2012 #2
    I think this happened because a super saturated solution so any vibration or any touch percipient the amount of solution that got dissolved.
  4. Apr 23, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Not sure what you mean. If the solution is saturated and it starts to evaporate (it does it all the time) there is nothing strange in crystals growing on the surface, especially when the solution is not mixed. After all it is the surface where the solution becomes supersaturated.
  5. Apr 23, 2012 #4
    I am talking about a saturated mixture.. I am talking about salt appearing NOT >ON< the surface.. but ABOVE it on the inside glass walls (of the cup) and eventually on the outside aswell... its like small salt particles defining gravity or like bacteria spreading but in a much faster rate :P
  6. Apr 23, 2012 #5
    Just try and do it yourself using a mixer or a shaker or whatever starurate the water with salt pu it on a glass cup and leave it there for some hours its cheap and easy no special safety measurments or gear are nessecary
  7. Apr 23, 2012 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    I don't have to, I know the process - it just wasn't clear to me what you were referring to.

    Solution goes up the walls thanks to the surface tension. Once it is on the wall, it has a large surface/volume ratio, so it dries much faster than in the bulk of the solution. When it dries, it leaves solid salt on the wall. Presence on the solid salt on the wall above the solution means solution is wicked up even faster than in the clean wall, and dries easily on the already existing salt surface.
  8. Apr 23, 2012 #7
    If I understood your description right then this should create a ring or a belt of salt just above the surface of the solution..

    I am talking about salt signs a few CM higher than the surface (On the inner walls of the glass) and on the OUTER walls of the glass its like it crawls up in streams similary to liquid helium
  9. Apr 23, 2012 #8
    Note: I used a shaker and shaked the mixture in a very intense way for a few minutes, also the signs may start to show up within few hours but to completely see the salt on the outside of the glasswalls you have to wait 1-3 days

    + (I dont know if that matters) my mixture had filled the 3.5/4 of the glass I used
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