Some metals and metal alloys undergo a transition to brittleness at cold temperature. This phenomenon likely contributed to the demise of the Titanic.
Describing the number density of molecules involved in chemistry demonstrations while presenting those demonstrations can help to convey concepts such as the small size of molecules and how the distance between molecules can vary during change of physical state.
Polystyrene foam sticks with a square or rectangular profile will not fit into a round target hole (e.g., the opening of a soda bottle) at room temperature. However, they do contract sufficiently in contact with liquid nitrogen to fit into the hole and produce a simple demonstration of Charles’s Law. Many other polymer foams do not shrink under these conditions, but still provide opportunities to discuss and explore their structure and chemistry.
This Pumpkinator is a fantastic orange-to-blue-to-orange chemical reaction that will make a great addition to your Halloween-themed chemistry demonstrations.
Learn a bit about the chemical reactions that occur during a lightning strike, and how you can demonstrate these reactions in your classroom.
Flash rocks were discussed in a previous post as stones made of quartz that produce light by triboluminescence when struck together. This post provides some description of their origins and tips on how to find them, making connections to some of their properties.
The importance of surface area can be illustrated by adding spherical solids at known sizes and temperature to other substances at different temperatures and then monitoring the rates of temperature changes of the system over time. Larger spheres (with less surface area per sample) exchanged heat with water more slowly than smaller spheres, and less thermally conductive glass spheres exchanged heat with water more slowly than iron spheres. Additional, more colorful demonstrations are described in which small glass spheres cool thermochromic plastic cups more quickly than larger glass spheres.
Flash rocks, typically pieces of quartz that produce light when struck together, are an example of the complex phenomenon of triboluminescence. The green chemistry aspects for the flash rock demonstration are considered, and LEGO models illustrating quartz crystals, piezoelectric materials, and nonpiezoelectric materials are presented.
You can solve Chemical Mystery #20 if you know your chemistry...and your magic!
Why does the "Whoosh Bottle" experiment behave differently at different temperatures?