Jell-o: liquid or solid?
January 31, 2017
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Do you remember learning about the states of matter in science class? We all know the original three: solid, liquid, and gas. There are also two lesser known states, plasma and Bose-Einstein condensates. Although there is an item that breaks the mold, Jell-o.
“Jello is a solid because it does not flow like a liquid,” tells sophomore Derek McLaughlin.
Jell-o cannot be defined as either, it is a colloid. But, this is not a commonly known fact.
“Jello would be a colloid. The gelatin component is a solid material derived from collagen. The solid materials are suspended in sugar water to make Jello. Jello is both solid and liquid,” says Mr. Cloe, Meridian High School science teacher.
We were taught that a solid holds its own shape and that a liquid conforms to the shape of its container. When heated, Jell-o takes the shape of its container. But, when cooled it will hold it’s own shape. So where does that leave it?
“Jello is considered to be a colloid which means the solid gelatin protein is suspended in the water. It behaves more like a liquid because there are large spaces between the particles allowing your spoon to move through it easily. It would also flow as it warmed to room temperature making it more like a liquid,” says Ms. Rappé, Meridian High School science teacher.
So, to answer the original question, Jell-o is a colloid.