The differing electrostatic and solubility properties of starch and polystyrene foam packing peanuts are used in various demonstrations to describe aspects of microplastics and their interactions with the environment. Their differing responses to exposure to liquid nitrogen and iodine solutions are also described.
Some explorations and explanations regarding superconductors and the quantum levitation (also known as quantum locking) experiment.
Allowing students to confront the failure of a model and then helping them construct a new or slightly modified model to account for new observations is at the heart of the process of science. Ben Meacham shares one approach that can be deployed with a variation of depth, making it attainable for anyone learning about chemistry.
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.
The many colors of springtime can be illustrated with photochromic pigments in commercial products. These products include UV beads, and more recently, photochromic glue. The glue can be used as a photochromic paint for paper or even eggs. The resulting colorful, decorative objects can be used to illustrate chemical discussions of aspects of photochemistry.
The demonstration where CO2 is generated and used to snuff out a candle in an aquarium or other container is well known. This article describes a dramatic variation on these demonstrations that allows for discussion of such topics as the ideal gas law, densities of different gases, gas density changes with temperature, miscibility, and viscosity. The device described is easily and inexpensively produced and stored. The demonstration is large scale and works well for classrooms and community outreach events.
This demonstration offers an alternative to the disappearing rainbow demonstration using readily accessible materials.
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.