Welcome to practical physicsPracticle physics - practical activities designed for use in the classroom with 11 to 19 year olds

Diffusion of copper sulfate crystals in water


Apparatus and materials

Gas jar

Cover glass

Copper sulfate crystals (harmful)

Health & Safety & Technical notes

Warn students who might try to taste copper sulfate that it is harmful if swallowed.

Put a layer of large copper sulfate crystals in a gas jar of water with a cover glass over the top.



Gas jar

a Show the newly-filled gas jar. 
b Leave undisturbed for several weeks. 
c Get the class to check the gas jar each week.

Teaching notes

After several weeks, the blue of the copper sulfate will diffuse into the water. Obviously, it is helpful if the jar is not moved or knocked. 

This experiment was safety-checked in February 2006


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