Liquid Nitrogen, Gas Laws and Rocket Science

Liquid nitrogen rocket

The “bucket launch” is a fantastic experiment you can do if you have access to liquid nitrogen. Depending upon conditions, we have observed the bucket to launch anywhere from 80 to 160 feet high. See the video.

To Inquiry or not to Inquiry . . .

Here is something to ponder as you think about your lab experiences this year:  I have been using an excellent inquiry lab for the past few years.  I think it does a fabulous job guiding the students through the amazing (yet often dull to students) world of specific heat equations and learning about calorimetry.  However, this semester, I returned to the old, traditional calorimetry lab.  I wan

Thermite reaction

When ignited by a glycerin/permanganate reaction, an aluminum/iron oxide mixture reacts vigorously and spectacularly, producing molten iron and aluminum oxide.

Nitrogen triiodide detonation

Simply touching dry nitrogen triiodide with a feather causes it to explode. Includes slow-motion replay of explosion.

Reaction of iron with iodine

Powdered iron and powdered iodine are mixed together. Adding drops of water to the mixture initiates a reaction.