Eli5: How does a lava lamp work?



Eli5: How does a lava lamp work?

In: Chemistry

The bottom gets super hot, the wax like substance at the bottom heats /melts. Heat makes it rise.

Once it gets to the top it cools off just enough to return to the bottom and reheat.

Rinse and repeat.

As the liquids are heated they expand slightly so this means they are now less dense than colder areas of the lamp, so the warm liquid passes up through the colder liquid which then settles down towards the bottom.

You turn on the base with the bulb, and the liquid-gel containing the glitter in the lamp moves due to the wave coming from the heat of the bulb, thus creating the movement in a glitter lamp.