Chemical Mystery #9: Liquid Nitrogen vs. Dry Ice

Bucket launch

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?

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.

The World's Biggest Flame Test....

Most chemistry teachers I know do flame tests with their students. It ties in well with many topics, is colorful and the kids enjoy seeing the colors and burning stuff. There are many applications. For years I always mentioned that astronomers use the idea of the flame test. They simply look at stars and examine the spectra from the light of these stars. They then match the spectra with the elements and then they can see and infer what elements are millions of light years away. I always mentioned this but never was able to demonstrate it. 

Catching a Wave, by Brian Greene

Smithsonian April 2013

Scientists are sitting on top of the world after detecting gravitational waves for the first time.  Now what?



The American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) website is the official source for information on Modeling InstructionTM (MI).  Whether you are an experienced Modeler or simply interested in learning more about MI, I encourage you to visit the newly redesigned site and check out the available resources.

The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean Carroll

The Higgs boson is one of our era’s most fascinating scientific frontiers and the key to understanding why mass exists. The most recent book on the subject, The God Particle, was a bestseller.