The solution to Chemical Mystery #17 is presented. Were you able to use your chemical knowledge to explain the results?
If you know your chemistry, you can figure out how the bubbles get busted!
With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion of “flattening the curve” by social distancing. These ideas can be demonstrated chemically, for example, by the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to produce an oxygen gas foam. Decreased hydrogen peroxide concentrations, representing decreased human population concentrations from social distancing, produce oxygen gas foam, representing cases of illness, at a slower rate. A similar demonstration can be achieved using the popular Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations.
Solutions of copper (II) dissolved in acetone are easy to prepare, and can display orange, yellow, green, and blue color depending upon conditions. Such solutions allow for a variety of demonstrations and experiments that illustrate principles of chemical equilibrium.
I observe a red to blue color change when I rinse my bowl after eating frozen blueberries. Sounds like an acid-base reaction, doesn’t it? Well, read on to learn about the blueberry surprise!
Chemistry and lasers can be used to create a demonstration that includes several colors and flashing lights. This demonstration connects to topics in quantum chemistry and phase changes.
Ever wonder why some call precipitation reactions "double decomposition". Perhaps (or perhaps not) two (double) salts are sort of splitting apart (decomposing?) and then reforming with other radicals. But a solvent (usually water) is necessary to achieve the desired effect. But is adding water to a salt really decomposition?
The Devil's Milkshake is a simple, yet interesting chemistry experiment that fits well as a Halloween demo.
I usually start of the school year with a measuring activity. This year, I used Tom Kuntzleman's Mentos and Diet Coke experiment and had students use the data to do some graphing and analysis. This was a nice lead into our gas unit. I also made my own syphon coffee maker to demonstrate for my students.
Simple chemical tests are described that can indicate the presence of certain metals in coins. A wide variety of chemical concepts are involved. The experiments described are a natural fit for the 2019 National Chemistry Week theme of "Marvelous Metals!"