Rainbow walking water science!
Let's learn about capillary action and surface tension!
Water moves from jar to jar due to capillary action and surface tension.
The surface tension of the water keeps the water from falling off the paper towel onto the table below as it creeps up the paper towel.
Capillary action is the force that is applied to the molecules in the water as they are absorbed by the towel. The pressure gently pushes the water all the way through the towel, and down into the jar next to it.
The water stabilizes and ends up at the same level in all the jars because of how things like to stabilize.
Once the water level is the same in all the jars and the paper towels are all wet, the water stops moving from jar to jar.
This is how the colors remain in primary in secondary colors, rather than continuously traveling from jar to jar, which would make all the jars turn brown.
When the paper towels are rolled up and placed between two jars, they exemplify capillary action, which is how liquid can move up something, rather than follow the usual pull of gravity and pull down.
Get the full experiment directions on STEAMsational!