JCE 92.04—April 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education April 2015 Cover

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day

The April 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available for subscribers at This issue features articles on atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Also featured in this issue are: microfluidic devices; problem solving strategies; information literacy; kinetics & thermodynamics; investigations of gases and organic synthesis; outreach.

Chemical Mystery #4: The Case of the Misbehaving Balloon

Conducting experiments with liquid nitrogen experiments is a sure-fire way to energize many chemistry lessons. Unfortunately, getting access to liquid nitrogen can be a bit difficult. I happen to purchase liquid nitrogen from Airgas; you might be able to find a branch near you here.

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.

Nail Bottle Demonstration in Slow Motion

The nail bottle demonstration is one that many of us have conducted in our classes. To perform this demonstration, 2 – 3 mL of ethanol is placed into a plastic bottle that has two nails punctured into opposite sides of the bottle. After stoppering the bottle, a Tesla coil is touched to one of the nails. A spark jumps from one nail to the other, which initiates the combustion of vaporized ethanol inside the bottle. We recently filmed this reaction with our high speed video camera.

Boyle's Law: J-Tube

The relationship between the volume of a gas and the pressure it exerts, known as Boyle's Law, is shown with a J-tube.