Phases / Phase Transitions / Diagrams

Chemical Mystery #10: Out of the Blue!

the demo in action

In this simple trick, colors are made to "magically" appear and disappear on a straw. This science experiment is very easy to do...if you know your chemistry!

Boiling Water, Heating Curves, and Can Crushes

In an effort to better understand my high school students' knowledge of what is happening during phase changes, heating curve calculations, and the ever popular can crush demo, I run them through a series of activities. First, I ask my students "What Temperature Does Water Boil At?"

Time required: 

1.5 days to do all the activities including lecture on heating curve calculations.

Dry ice in five different liquids

Dry ice in five different liquids

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!

The Dry-Ice-in-Water Cloud

Cloud formed when dry ice is placed in water

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.

Simple, Small-Scale Dry Ice Explosions

Sealed carbon dioxide exploding

A fun experiment to conduct when discussing phase diagrams is the melting of solid carbon dioxide (dry ice).  To perform this experiment, place small pieces of dry ice (carbon dioxide) in a plastic pipette, seal with a pair of pliers, and position the bulb of the sealed pi

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.