Is it possible to use materials found in high school chemistry labs to extract and subsequently detect cocaine on dollar bills? Let me know what you think after reading this blog post!
Tom Kuntzleman's blog
In the article “Reactions Catalyzed by an Assault on a Favorite Principle”1, Emeric Schultz (who incidentally taught me General Chemistry, was my undergraduate advisor, and is now a dear friend and colleague) argues the following:
“Although I have read and heard about ‘big ideas’ in chemistry, I have never seen a commensurate effort to work toward a high school chemistry program that starts from…big ideas and works down.”
In Chemical Mystery #7, a can of Coca-Cola was observed to sink in one container of water and yet float in another! This trick made use of the fact that the density of water changes with temperature. See the video below.
Q: Does an unopened can of soda pop float or sink in water?
A: It depends!
See if you can figure out what is happening in this twist on the classic floating-and-sinking soda can experiment.
Solution to Chemical Mystery #6 is presented. Also, concepts related to the chemical can crush demo are briefly discussed.
Can you figure out how this experiment works?
A complete understanding of why each element has a particular electronic configurations is a very complex subject. Even so, some confusion regarding the electronic configurations of the elements may be alleviated by looking at the physical properties of the electronic orbitals.
Learn a simple and very inexpensive way to build and use an "absorption spectrometer" using a smartphone. This is a great way to implement Beer's Law experiments in your classroom!