Finding Flash Rocks

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.

Too Hot to Handle? Hydrogen Reacts with Oxygen on Palladium Foil

The reaction of hydrogen and oxygen gases to form water is well known to be an exothermic reaction. That reaction can occur by first absorbing the hydrogen into palladium metal, and then placing the resulting palladium hydride into contact with oxygen in the air. Infrared and visible light videos were recorded for this process involving palladium foil, and the Green Chemistry and safety aspects of these activities are considered.

Paper Snowflakes to Model Flat Symmetrical Molecules

Flat, symmetrical molecules can be modeled by folding a sheet of paper, cutting patterns into the folded structure, and unfolding to produce the flat paper models. The finished models resemble paper snowflakes, but have a variety of rotational symmetries. Template patterns for several molecules are available for download in the Supporting Information.

A short investigation of the use of pumpkin seed extracts in peroxyoxalate chemiluminescence demonstrations

In recent years, the fluorescence properties of pumpkin seeds have been highlighted on social media. When illuminated with a UV lamp, pumpkin seed extract appears orange/red to the human eye due to fluorescence associated with protochlorophyllide that is present in the seeds. Chlorophyll extracts can also be used as a fluorescent dye in “glowstick” chemiluminescence experiments. The similarities between chlorophylls and protochlorophyllide raised the question, is it possible to use pumpkin seed extract as a fluorescent dye in chemiluminescence experiments? In this short article, some results are reported from attempts to use pumpkin seed extracts for chemiluminescence experiments.