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Harry Potter Charmed Marker

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Charmed Marker
white paper coffee filter
non-permanent black marker
coffee mug

Casting the Spell
Cut a circle out of the coffee filter.
Draw a line about an inch above the bottom across the circle.
Fill the mug with a 1/4 inch of water.
Curl the circle and place it inside the mug. Make sure the bottom of the circle is in the water.
Watch as the water flows up the paper. When it touches the black line, you will start to see different colors.
Leave the paper in the water until the colors go all the way to the top edge.
Try casting the spell with different markers. All black markers are not the same.

The Science Behind the Spell

Most black magic markers are made up of colored pigments, or dyes, and water. The water in the ink carries the pigments up the coffee filter. As the water dries, the pigments remain on the paper. The pigments dissolve when the filter is dipped in water. Some pigments move up the paper faster than others. They travel at different rates depending on how large the pigment molecule is and how much the pigment is attracted to the paper. Since the pigments travel at different rates, this is a way to tell which colors were used to make it.

This technique is called chromatography (color-writing.. Russian botanist Mikhail Tsvet developed the technique in 1910 for separating the pigments that made up plant dyes. It can be used to determine the ingredients in perfumes, to analyze pollutants, to separate animal proteins in blood samples, and to find drug traces in urine samples.

Ink gets its color by absorbing some of the colors in white light and reflecting others. For example, blue ink looks blue because it reflects the blue light and absorbs all of the others. When red, green, blue and yellow inks are mixed, they absorb more light, leaving less to be reflected back. Since there is less light to be reflected back, the resulting color is black.

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