Thermal paper such as that used for point of sale receipts typically functions by darkening when exposed to heat. The pigment system used in this paper also darkens when exposed to solvents of intermediate polarity and acids. This enables thermal paper to be used as an inexpensive sort of indicator paper for a variety of demonstrations.
Inspired by a recent article in the Journal of Chemical Education, Tom Kuntzleman attempted to extract lithium from a coin battery, and to use the extracted lithium to produce a pink flame.
Check out the solution to Chemical Mystery #18: Peek A Boo Blue!
Some explorations and explanations regarding superconductors and the quantum levitation (also known as quantum locking) experiment.
Beautiful, metallic mirrors of copper or silver can easily be formed in test tubes. Simply add the appropriate metal salt to a test tube, and heat! These reactions should be performed in a fume hood.
This post describes a simple way to generate blue, green, orange, and yellow copper complexes, and to use these complexes to introduce students to the effect of temperature on chemical equilibria. The protcol avoids the use of caustic agents, allowing the experiments to be conducted by students as a laboratory-based investigation.
Have you seen the rainbow candy experiment? It's a very simple experiment that involves pouring water into a plate that has M&M's candies or Skittles arranged in a pattern. Very curious shapes of sharply divided regions form spontaneously. How does this happen?!
Learn how to give pennies a beautiful, silvery-colored plating.
Tom Kuntzleman tests to see if Powerade can be used as a source of reducing sugars in the classic silver mirror demonstration, and reminisces about Christmas days past when doing so.
What's a better way to start the new school year than with some new experiments? Learn how to use a variety of color changing experiments to teach students about the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment, acids, bases, chemical and physical changes, and climate change.