# Is there a simple field test for heavy water?

Thought experiment

Given two glasses of water, how would one detect which glass contains heavy water, and which contains potable water without using complicated laboratory equipment?

Something like the way a piece of litmus paper (yes, it is laboratory equipment and easily available to the layman at that!) may be used to test whether a solution is an acid, or alkali.

• heavy water has higher boiling and melting points and is slightly toxic for eukaryotes. It is also heavier (1.1 g/ml) then normal water. – permeakra Oct 21 '12 at 5:43
• This is just a hunch, but I imagine if you filled a small waterbomb from each glass, and placed it in the opposite glass, you would see one sinking (in the normal water) and one floating (in the heavy water) – wim Oct 21 '12 at 11:05