General

Demonstrating the Glass Transition of Polylactic Acid with a Rattle

Polylactic acid (PLA) exhibits a glass transition from hard and brittle to soft and rubbery when immersed in boiling water. PLA-based structures containing a small metal object can be used as rattles when they are shaken. The sound of the rattles change when they are heated above or cooled below their glass transition, enabling them to be used as demonstrations.

Demo A Day IV

Dean Campbell uses demonstrations and props to illustrate concepts while teaching his collegiate Materials Chemistry course. Many of the examples described are also suitable for use in high school and collegiate General Chemistry courses. 

Ice Clouds 2.0

What is some of the chemistry involved in the formation of ice clouds when boiling water is thrown into icy air?

Colour Changes with Caffeine

This initial study outlines the effect on the colour of anthocyanin-containing solutions when mixed with caffeine. Given the diversity of anthocyanin structures available from other vegetables, fruits or flowers, there is great potential for series of open-ended experiments for students in classes or science clubs to investigate.