Ice crystals can be made using fishing line, a sponge, Styrofoam cups, a plastic soda bottle and dry ice to create a growing chamber. It is a simple experiment that can be performed educationally or for recreation with minimal preparation.
The crystal chamber experiment is a very basic one. It makes use of refrigeration and controlled drainage to encourage crystal formation in a tightly controlled environment.
- Cut the soda bottle and fit the sponge
- Thread the fishing line and insert
- Nest the bottle and introduce the dry ice
Cut the bottom off of the soda bottle and to cut four evenly-spaced slits in its sides. Once this is done, cut a round of sponge to fit and fill the gap. A common household dish sponge will do.
Thread a needle with fishing line and draw it through the sponge so that the line is taut down the length of the bottle. This will be the frame on which ice crystals will form once the process begins.
Place the inverted bottle in three Styrofoam cups of increasing size. Pack the empty space with crushed dry ice and then cover the dry ice with paper towels and wet the sponge. Tap or distilled water will do, and the drip process will create ice crystals in combination with the refrigeration.