Alka Seltzer : A Tablet Essay

Alka Seltzer : A Tablet Essay

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Alka-Seltzer Rockets
Instructor: Mr. Thompson

Due 4/1/16
Science Research

Jamal Matthews Jeremy Alpert Sophia Tannenbaum


Alka-Seltzer® is a tablet that can be taken to relieve stomach pain from indigestion. Our experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that if the amount of Alka-Seltzer® increased, then the time it would take for the cap to pop off the film canister would decrease. In our experiment, we changed the amount of Alka-Seltzer® from zero tablets, to one quarter tablet, to one half tablet, and then to one full tablet. We placed the Alka-Seltzer® tablet into a film canister, poured ten milliliters of water into the canister and then capped the film canister. We found that as more Alka-Seltzer® was placed in the film canister, the cap did pop off after less time, so our hypothesis was therefore supported.


An Alka-Seltzer® tablet consists of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), sodium hydrogen carbonate, citric acid anhydrous, povidone, dimeticone, calcium silicate, docusate sodium, sodium benzoate, and sodium saccharin. Of these ingredients, only aspirin, sodium bicarbonate, and anhydrous citric acid are active.
As the Alka-Seltzer® tablets dissolve in water, the sodium bicarbonate splits to form bicarbonate. The bicarbonate then reacts with the hydrogen from the citric acid, and this reaction makes water and carbon dioxide. By mixing water with the Alka-Seltzer® tablet, the whole reaction process is started, and that process ultimately results in bubbles of carbon dioxide gas being given off. When the film canister is capped, this gas that is being given off is suddenly contained inside an enclosed space. The pressure inside...

... middle of paper ...

...sing ¼, ½, and 1 tablet, in order to attempt to find more accurate results. We could also do the same experiment using different amounts of Alka-Seltzer®, to see if the correlation we found remains the same. Another possibility would be to measure how high the canister goes in the air with different amounts of Alka-Seltzer®.

Works Cited

"About Alka-Seltzer." Alka Seltzer Directions of Use. Bayer Corporation, 2013. Web. 26 Mar.


"Alka-Seltzer Rocket." Alka-Seltzer. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.

"Frequently Asked Questions." Alka-Seltzer FAQs. Bayer, 2016. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.

"Rocket Thrust." Rocket Thrust. Ed. Tom Benson. N.p., 22 Oct. 2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.

Rowland, Teisha. "Plop, Plop, Fizz Fast: The Effect of Temperature on Reaction Time."

Classroom Activity:. Science Buddies, 2016. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.

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