Soils Lab

YaQi Xiong and Tchnavia D. Merrick

Our research began by exploring our topics of interest. We decided to study capillary action in soil. Our goal is to design a model to help the students to visualize capillary action. Our student-friendly apparatus uses LEDs and sound indicators to measure the water level rise in soil. Our research will involve the following

  1. Design an LED circuit using battery and salt water.
  2. Use Arduino to build a sensor system to detect light.
  3. Create a capillary chamber with LED circuit and sensor.

We built our first LED circuit using battery, wires and salt water and confirmed that salt water is a good conductor that can successfully close the circuit in order to light up the LED. At the same time, we built our capillary chamber using different shapes of clear containers. We tested the capillary action in different types of soil and observed that water rises to different levels depending on the particle size. Finally, we quantified the concentration of NaCl on conductivity and experimentally determined that a saturated salt solution works the best as a conductor. We created a program using Arduino to turn on LED and piezo simultaneously.

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