Finding demos related to nuclear chemistry that are interesting, relevant, and manageable is challenging. Melanie Harvey is both a chemistry professor and a ceramic artist. Using Fiestaware to talk about the historical use of radioisotopes is one of her favorite demonstrations.
Balloons that inflate using carbon dioxide produced from the reaction of citric acid and sodium hydrogen carbonate can be used to demonstrate a number of aspects of chemistry. Gas laws were used with the balloons to illustrate limiting reactants, molar mass of gases, and rockets. The endothermic reaction in the balloon was visualized with an infrared camera, and the Green Chemistry aspects of these balloons were considered.
Did you figure out how to create a multi-colored mixture? Check out the solution to Chemical Mystery #19: Multi-colored Mixture!
Can you use your knowledge of chemistry to figure out what is going on in Chemical Mystery #19?
This blog post includes short descriptions of demonstrations and props that Dean Campbell has used while teaching his collegiate General Chemistry I course.
Did you know that sand can be converted into a mixture of gases that spontaneously ignites in air? The procedures involved are relatively simple to perform, spectacular to observe, and relate to a rich assortment of chemical principles.
Thin sheets of polystyrene can be patterned with permanent markers to represent repeating units of the polymer and then shrunk down in size using heat. The shrunken models of the repeating units can be connected with a string and then flipped into positions to demonstrate different types of polymer tacticity.
Addition of a small amount of azobenzene to eicosane can lower its melting point to where it can be melted by body heat. This can be used in demonstrations and classroom activities related to freezing point depression and phase diagrams.
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.