In Chemical Mystery #10, plastic straws are observed to “magically” change color when waved in the air. Check out the explanation and the video.
If rhubarb stem is placed in a solution of permanganate, the purple permanganate ion is reduced to the colorless Mn2+ ion. It is thought that the oxalic acid present in rhubarb causes this reduction. The investigations presented in this post provide evidence that this may not be the whole story...
I think this experiment provides a fantastic vehicle to involve students of all ages in small, hands-on and exploratory research projects. Like many others, my students and I have investigated various aspects of this interesting fountain.
It is becoming increasingly important for citizens to understand various concepts related to climate change and global warming. This post describes several chemical concepts that are pertinent to these issues, in the hopes that teachers of science and chemistry can introduce the topic of climate change into their classrooms and everyday discussions.
The solution to Chemical Mystery #9: Liquid Nitrogen vs. Dry Ice is presented. Why does liquid nitrogen launch the bucket so much higher than dry ice and water?
A 2L soda pop bottle is filled about one-third full with either liquid nitrogen or solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) and water. The bottle is sealed and a plastic bucket is placed on top. Do you think the liquid nitrogen or dry ice and water will make the bucket go higher? Can you explain the results using chemistry?
You probably know what happens when you place dry ice in water. Do you know what happens when dry ice is placed in acetone or glycerin? Read this and find out!
Have you ever wondered where the cloud comes from when dry ice is placed in water? If you think the answer is “atmospheric water vapor”, be sure to read this post because experimental evidence suggests that this explanation is wrong.
This exercise is intended as an ice-breaker for a first or second class meeting. It also serves as an introduction to physical & chemical properties and application of the macro/micro/symbolic representations of chemical phenomena. Finally, it also provides a framework to mention many of the topics to be covered in a general chem first semester course.
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.