Phenomena

Making Lava Lamps

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Since their invention in the 1960s, lava lamps have been a fascinating example of convection in action. In this video, we see how they’re manufactured, including blowing the glass bottles, shaping the metal holder, and filling the lamps. The key to the lamp’s performance is the delicate thermal balance of its two liquids. As the waxy liquid warms, it floats up the lamp until it reaches the top, cools, and sinks back down to begin again. The exact formulation of the liquids is a closely guarded secret! Want more lava lamps? Check out how a wall of them help secure Internet traffic. (Image and video credit: Business Insider)

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