Favorite home experiments

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GCM
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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby GCM » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:58 am UTC

amysrabbitranch wrote:Ok not really a home experiment unless you can get the stuff at home...but take some HCl (nothing super concentrated...I forget what molar works fine sorry) and put it and some aluminum in a decent sized Erlenmeyer flask. Cork the top with a tube running out of it and into a bucket with soapy water. The reaction produces hydrogen gas which is what the soap bubbles will be filled with. Light a candle. Run your hand under some water, scoop up the bubbles, and stick your hand over the flame. FOOM! your hand "burns". But thanks to the specific heat of water, at the most your hand will feel a bit of warmth :)


That looks scary. But awesome! I've got to try this!*

Korandder wrote:Not my own home experiment but some people I know put some random stuff in a microwave with varying results

Fun with Microwaves


My (physics) teacher told me about putting a cup of distilled water in a microwave for a couple minutes. Nothing happens to it, but one you put some form of impurity in it (dust, coffee powder suggested), it blows up. I've never tried, because my microwave isn't expendable, but can anyone confirm this?

Also, is tesla coil considered a home experiment? (Project, more like.) I've been wanting to build one for a while, but my grades would probably suffer.

Other than that, I don't know... but I like to play with fire! Get matches and contruct things out of them, and light it. Also tried some other things, like paper, thread, wood. There was also this one kind of tissue that gave out a more bluish fire (never buying that brand again.)
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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby BlackSails » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:36 pm UTC

GCM wrote:My (physics) teacher told me about putting a cup of distilled water in a microwave for a couple minutes. Nothing happens to it, but one you put some form of impurity in it (dust, coffee powder suggested), it blows up. I've never tried, because my microwave isn't expendable, but can anyone confirm this?


It wont really explode as much as all boil at once. But dont do this as if you take a cupful of superheated steam in the face you will not be happy.

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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby GCM » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:06 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
GCM wrote:My (physics) teacher told me about putting a cup of distilled water in a microwave for a couple minutes. Nothing happens to it, but one you put some form of impurity in it (dust, coffee powder suggested), it blows up. I've never tried, because my microwave isn't expendable, but can anyone confirm this?


It wont really explode as much as all boil at once. But dont do this as if you take a cupful of superheated steam in the face you will not be happy.


Not like it hasn't happened before. :D

Not that I'm willing to, by the way.
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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:17 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:It wont really explode as much as all boil at once.

Any significant amount of water all boiling at once sounds rather like an explosion, actually...
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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby BlackSails » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
BlackSails wrote:It wont really explode as much as all boil at once.

Any significant amount of water all boiling at once sounds rather like an explosion, actually...


Well, he made it sound like he expected it to blow his microwave into tiny bits.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby Razer4229 » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:31 am UTC

Hi everyone, been reading the comic/blag/forums for a while now, but I only reistered today (tonight actually, but never mind).
Anyways, I noticed a lack of acid-related fun and indeed, profit.

I guess the materials required for this "experiment" (read: mischief) is not what you'll find in most houses but so are dry ice and LN2 so go figure.

1. Dehydrating Sugar
I learnt this one at a school open-day last year.

Materials:

Suphuric Acid (pretty concentrated, can't remember the molar, should be oily)
Sugar (plain, white)
A container (glass, something you're prepared to throw away afterwards)
Goggles+gloves

A outdoor space


Put a 1/3 volume of sugar in the container and pour a 2/3 volume of acid over.

The sugar will turn darker and darker until suddenly (if everything is right) it will open like a little volcano releasing a plume of steam and begin to rise up
out of the container in a column of solid (very hot) carbon
(Note: I said outdoors because if the proportions of acid/sugar are out, the mix will rise out of the container, in the form of a hot, sticky, acidic tar-like substance, not fun to clean)
The carbon block, when cooled, is remarkably hard and is like a carbon foam.

Done correctly, this has a high wow factor.

Enjoy!

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby drumbum99 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:33 pm UTC

Razer4229 wrote:Materials:

Suphuric Acid (pretty concentrated, can't remember the molar, should be oily)
Sugar (plain, white)
A container (glass, something you're prepared to throw away afterwards)
Goggles+gloves

My chem teacher did that the other week. Looks pretty cool. He was like "This is pretty much what happens if you get this on your skin", needless to say we were extra carful that lesson.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby BlackSails » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

drumbum99 wrote:My chem teacher did that the other week. Looks pretty cool. He was like "This is pretty much what happens if you get this on your skin", needless to say we were extra carful that lesson.


You teacher is a liar. Sulfuric acid is not something you want on your skin, but your skin is not made of sugar. Ive gotten 10M H2SO4 on myself, and I didnt start to smoke and carbonize.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby Razer4229 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:33 am UTC

Yeah, I've done that too- It's really annoying how you don't feel the acid until it really starts to burn your skin.
Anyone know if my acid/sugar ratio was right?- I haven't done it in a while so I couldn't remember the exact amounts.
I wonder what it would look like with much larger quantities (e.g liters of acid with kilograms of sugar)?

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby drumbum99 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
drumbum99 wrote:My chem teacher did that the other week. Looks pretty cool. He was like "This is pretty much what happens if you get this on your skin", needless to say we were extra carful that lesson.


You teacher is a liar. Sulfuric acid is not something you want on your skin, but your skin is not made of sugar. Ive gotten 10M H2SO4 on myself, and I didnt start to smoke and carbonize.

Well yer he didn't say it was exactly what would happen, but dammit it made us more careful so i guess he did his job in a sort of twisted way?

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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby GCM » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:38 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:Well, he made it sound like he expected it to blow his microwave into tiny bits.


Naw, naw. I was thinking more like bringing the cup somewhere safe first. Like in my neighbors car, or a gas station, or a library. Guess I shoulda said it. :mrgreen:

Razer4229 wrote:Yeah, I've done that too- It's really annoying how you don't feel the acid until it really starts to burn your skin.


That happened before? I had a friend who had "acid"* on his skin, and it was a bit hot. When he washed it off there was a black mark.

*No, I don't think it was acid, but he said so.

Razer4229 wrote:Anyone know if my acid/sugar ratio was right?- I haven't done it in a while so I couldn't remember the exact amounts.
I wonder what it would look like with much larger quantities (e.g liters of acid with kilograms of sugar)?


If science has taught us anything, it's that more stuff = more results. I.e. more acid & sugar = more "volcano".

Thus I deduce that the centre of the earth has vast quantities of sugar and H2SO4!! Science. It works, bitches! Ahahahahaha!!
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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby Razer4229 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:18 am UTC

Razer4229 wrote:Yeah, I've done that too- It's really annoying how you don't feel the acid until it really starts to burn your skin.

That happened before? I had a friend who had "acid"* on his skin, and it was a bit hot. When he washed it off there was a black mark.

*No, I don't think it was acid, but he said so.


Hmm... must have been a weak acid or just a irritant. You don't notice strong acid/alkali burns initially due to the layer of the dead cells on your skin. When it hits your nerve endings however, you definitely know about it- think bee sting + burning sensation.
Needless to say, it's pretty painful.

That's why I recommend gloves.

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Re: "burn" your hand

Postby Tahlas » Thu May 01, 2008 8:17 pm UTC

Razer4229 wrote:Hmm... must have been a weak acid or just a irritant. You don't notice strong acid/alkali burns initially due to the layer of the dead cells on your skin. When it hits your nerve endings however, you definitely know about it- think bee sting + burning sensation.
Needless to say, it's pretty painful.

That's why I recommend gloves.


That depends on a lot of stuff, i've gotten different kinds of acids on my hands a couple of times, one time I dropped some concentrated sulphuric acid on my finger.
I immediately went to wash it off, but already while I was on my way to the sink I noticed that my finger got warm.

I suspect that I had wet hands and that it was the water and not my finger that created the heat, but nevertheless there was heat, and it's doesn't seem impossible that sulphuric acids should leave darkish spots.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby psyck0 » Fri May 02, 2008 4:04 am UTC

Gloves aren't so good when they trap whatever's burning you, rather than keeping it out. Like concentrated bromine solutions. Nasty.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby zaqwithaq » Sat May 03, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

Ok firstly I wish to apologize for not finishing reading this whole forum before posting this but it was too cool to pass up...also I apologize for this being my 1st post so I will post everything as opposed to a link..
hackaday wrote:Our own [Eliot] dug this one up from the grave. While the recipe has been online for a while, do you know many 10 year olds who made their own Aerogel, that wonderful insulator that's essentially gelled air? [William] made some(cache) for his science project in 2002. He started with Silbond H5, a combination of ethyl alcohol and ethyl polysilicate. You can get the MSDS after a painless email registration on the Silbond website. After the gel is formed you have to soak it in an alcohol bath to make sure all water has been removed from the structure. Then the gel is placed in a drying chamber. Liquid CO2 is forced into the chamber to displace all the alcohol in the chamber and the structure. Once the the alcohol is gone the supercritical drying phase begins. The temperature is raised to 90degF and the pressure is regulated to 1050psi. At this point the liquid CO2 in the gel structure takes on gas properties (looses surface tension) and leaves the silica structure. All that remains in the chamber is your new Aerogel which is 99% empty space and 1000 times less dense than glass.

Of course, if you're lazy, you can buy some here.


kind of big but if you are to trust me on this http://www.hackaday.com/2008/03/23/make ... n-aerogel/

...I'm sorry i just felt bad about not sharing this earlier

and no...i haven't done this I've been wanting to since they posted it..
Spoiler:
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby morrock » Sun May 04, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

This thread is great, everything I know has been mentioned. There is one fun experiment I know, but I don't remember the ingredients... In my Chemistry class our teacher made a smoke bomb out of potassium something, and another chemical (no it wasn't Potassium Nitrate and sugar) He lit it with a magnesium rod, and yellow smoke and sparks flew everywhere.

The real reason for this post though, with all the talk of mentos in the first page, has anyone tried mixing 3 Musketeers and (diet) Coke? II've never tried, but one time I was choking on a piece of 3 Musketeers, and washed it down with half a can of Coke. Fizz poured out of my mouth.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby Mabus_Zero » Tue May 06, 2008 12:52 pm UTC

I always like the ones that blow off people's fingers, like alcohol and bromine.
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby BlackSails » Tue May 06, 2008 4:23 pm UTC

zaqwithaq wrote:. All that remains in the chamber is your new Aerogel which is 99% empty space


Lead is 99% empty space. :P

I always like the ones that blow off people's fingers, like alcohol and bromine.


Bromine and Acetone makes alpha-Bromoacetone which is a powerful (and mildly toxic) tear gas

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby drumbum99 » Tue May 06, 2008 7:55 pm UTC

Mabus_Zero wrote:I always like the ones that blow off people's fingers

Experiments that go bang are the best ones, untill like sum1 dies...

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby quintopia » Sun May 18, 2008 9:01 am UTC

0.5mm graphite pencil lead in a high voltage circuit. fun!

BTW, does anyone here know what is in those gel packs that get hot and crystalize when you pop the little metal disk inside?

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby GCM » Sun May 18, 2008 12:54 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:0.5mm graphite pencil lead in a high voltage circuit. fun!

BTW, does anyone here know what is in those gel packs that get hot and crystalize when you pop the little metal disk inside?


Oh yes! There's nothing safer than digging up ice on a frozen rock hurdling through space at a million miles per hour. Whoossshhhh!! Safe!

Um, what gel packs now?
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby Baza210 » Sun May 18, 2008 5:56 pm UTC

  • Half-fill your sink with water.
  • Get 200cm³ Cyclohexane in a beaker.
  • Ignite the Cycloxehane. A match will do fine.
  • Throw the contents of the beaker into the sink.

    Et voila- your sink is on fire.
Here I'm allowed everything all of the time

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby quintopia » Mon May 19, 2008 2:52 am UTC

GCM wrote:
Um, what gel packs now?


I finally found it on the net:

http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Reusable- ... B000F3Q524

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby ave_matthew » Wed May 21, 2008 3:00 pm UTC

BTW, does anyone here know what is in those gel packs that get hot and crystalize when you pop the little metal disk inside?


not all of them, but many contain supersaturated sodium acetate : NaCH3COO

which can be made as follows (not very pure, and pissed me of cause of the low yield)

vinaigre : CH3COOH
baking soda : H2CO3

vinaigre + baking soda : CH3COOH + H2CO3 => CO2 + H2O + NaCH3COO(aq)

then boil it till the water is gone. Then add whatever amount of water to make a super saturated solution and heat it up till it's liquid again. If all the crystals melted all the way it will remain liquid despite cooling. but the introduction a crystal (via the shock from the metal plate) will cause the sodium acetate to drop out of solution releasing a fair bit of heat.

two experiments in one!
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby quintopia » Wed May 21, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

As written it was difficult to balance. Fix'd:

ave_matthew wrote:7CH3COOH + 8NaH2CO3 => 6CO2 + 10H2O + 8NaCH3COO(aq)


The yield looks decent to me. Must be the dilution of the vinegar that hurts it.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby oxoiron » Wed May 21, 2008 8:33 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:As written it was difficult to balance. Fix'd:

ave_matthew wrote:7CH3COOH + 8NaH2CO3 => 6CO2 + 10H2O + 8NaCH3COO(aq)
That is a joke, right? I assume you meant to write this...

CH3COOH(aq) + NaHCO3 (aq) --> CH3COONa(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2 (g)
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby quintopia » Wed May 21, 2008 10:05 pm UTC

No, of course not, I meant to write:

7CH3COOH + 8NaHCO3 (s) => 8CH3COONa (aq) + 10H2O + 6CO2

I'm obviously not going to give the states of the obvious ones.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby oxoiron » Wed May 21, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:7CH3COOH + 8NaHCO3 (s) => 8CH3COONa (aq) + 10H2O + 6CO2
You are converting carbonate to acetate and making hydrogen appear out of nowhere? :shock:
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby quintopia » Thu May 22, 2008 12:15 am UTC

i copied yours, put in the coefficients and took out the obvious states of matter. what could the issue possibly be?

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby ave_matthew » Thu May 22, 2008 3:29 am UTC

First of all.
Sorry I put H2CO3 in stead of NaHCO3, at least you understood.

now

7CH3COOH + 8NaHCO3 => 8 NaCH3COO+ 10H2O + 6CO2

Left
C: 2*7+1*8=14+8=24
H: 4*7+1*8=28+8=36
O: 2*7+3*8=14+24=38
Na : 8*1=8
Right
C: 2*8+6*1=16+6=22
H: 8*3+2*10=24+20=44
O: 2*8+10*1+6*2=16+10+12=38
Na : 8*1=8

So that's what's wrong with it. C and H are not conserved.
Did you just put 8Na and say it was balanced?

And yes, the vinaigre's concentration was the problem, and evaporating acetaty water does NOT smell good :)
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby masher » Thu May 22, 2008 3:35 am UTC

ave_matthew wrote:7CH3COOH + 8NaHCO3 => 8 NaCH3COO+ 10H2O + 6CO2



CH3COOH + NaHCO3 => NaCH3COO+ H2O + CO2

is balanced.

in:
1 x CH3COO
2 x H
1 x Na
1 x CO2
1 x O

out:
1 x Na
1 x CH3COO
1 x CO2
2 x H
1 x O


If you can, don't balance individual elements, balance groups.

If a CH3COO goes through unaltered, then balance that as a whole.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby quintopia » Thu May 22, 2008 4:04 am UTC

sorry, i must have miscopied the equation into my equation balancer :D.2

Anyway, it's a moot point, since I knew going in that you'd get as much sodium acetate out as you put in baking soda, and that's all that matters (assuming you have enough of the other ingredients).

EDIT: Ah, the problem was that I used NaH2CO3 instead of NaHCO3. Which is retarded because the former would have a positive charge.

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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby oxoiron » Thu May 22, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:Ah, the problem was that I used NaH2CO3 instead of NaHCO3. Which is retarded would be really cool because the former would have a positive charge be neat as all hell if you could make it.
Fixed. :)

It wouldn't have a positive charge if it were a radical, but it would explosively decompose if you managed to form a significant amount of the stuff. Explosive decomposition is always cool.
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby ducksan » Sat May 24, 2008 3:06 am UTC

That would be an odd radical. If the molecule/formula unit (in an ionic compound, of course) had zero net charge, it'd have...some sort of Na covalent bond? Or Na+ and a carbonic acid molecule with an extra electron...somehow. I don't even want to think about what structure it could take. A co-crystallization of Na and carbonic acid, maybe, but that couldn't be stable, could it? The Na would probably be oxidized by the carbonic acid, because it's oxidized by pretty much anything, but I don't know at all.
If you could make it, yeah, it might have a rather powerful decomposition...but into what, and could you make enough for a sizable explosion? Doubtful =/

Also, yeah, reaction of bicarbonate and acetic acid = very simple indeed. I firmly second the notion of not making things too confusing, just balance it as an acid-base reaction. There will always be an acetate on both sides, whether it's a functional group bonded to a hydrogen (acetic acid) or the counteranion of Na+ doesn't matter, and because acetate is basic the products will still smell like vinegar. =P
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby oxoiron » Sat May 24, 2008 3:06 pm UTC

ducksan wrote:That would be an odd radical*....If you could make it, yeah, it might would have a rather powerful decomposition...but into what, and could you make enough for a sizable explosion? Doubtful =/
Fixed.

Under anything approaching normal conditions, it would be impossible to synthesize, since the following reaction would be impossible to prevent:

2 Na + 2 HOAc ---> 2 NaOAc + H2 + lots of heat

This is why I said it would be really cool if one could make it, but the conditions under which that could be done could only be described as 'unusual'. If you did make a substantial amount and removed the magical stabilizing field, it would explosively decompose as shown above.

* All radicals are odd.

HA HA HA HA HA -- [SLAP!] -- OUCH!

I deserved that.
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby ave_matthew » Sat May 24, 2008 3:18 pm UTC

I do apologize for the long complicated balancing, I had already done it the acid base way in my head. I just figured it's harder to argue with the individual element method than the acid base method, was I wrong?
And it does smell like acetate, not quite like vinaigre I though, probably almost as bad though :(
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby Aluminus » Sat May 24, 2008 5:46 pm UTC

I should add that sodium acetate is rather tasty.
Wikipedia wrote:Sodium acetate is the chemical that gives salt and vinegar chips (crisps) their flavor. It may also be added to foods as a preservative; in this application it is usually written as "sodium diacetate" and labeled E262.
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Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby GCM » Sun May 25, 2008 3:52 am UTC

Aluminus wrote:I should add that sodium acetate is rather tasty.
Wikipedia wrote:Sodium acetate is the chemical that gives salt and vinegar chips (crisps) their flavor. It may also be added to foods as a preservative; in this application it is usually written as "sodium diacetate" and labeled E262.


Lots of sodiums are delicious. Also unhealthy. Just like dolomite, except it's not unhealthy because it's got calcium!! Whee!!!

It's dolomite, baby!
All warfare is based on heavily-armed robotic commandos.
~Sun Tzu

Notes: My last avatar was "Vote Robot Nixon", so I'm gonna keep a list here. :D

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drumbum99
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:56 am UTC

Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby drumbum99 » Tue May 27, 2008 12:57 pm UTC

Does anyone have a home experiment that makes a bang. Also that is a gom eexperiemtn so you can get ahold of the stuff easily and it is not illegal =P

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oxoiron
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:56 pm UTC

Re: Favorite home experiments

Postby oxoiron » Tue May 27, 2008 3:05 pm UTC

drumbum99 wrote:Does anyone have a home experiment that makes a bang. Also that is a gom eexperiemtn so you can get ahold of the stuff easily and it is not illegal =P
I won't vouch for the legality in your neighborhood, but the reagents for this are readily available and it will go 'bang'!

THIS IS DANGEROUS, SO DON'T KILL YOURSELF!

1) Put some aluminum foil into an empty plastic pop bottle (start with a small one (e.g. 16 oz.) until you have an idea of how much damage these can do).

2) Add a little HCl (available as Limeaway, CLR, etc.)

DO NOT SCREW ON THE CAP YET!

3) Swirl the acid around to wet the aluminum.

4) Quickly screw on the cap tightly enough to seal.

5) GET AWAY FROM THE BOTTLE!

6) Cover your ears and wait for the explosion.

7) Repeat as desired.


The reaction that produces the explosion:

2 Al(s) + 6 HCl(aq) ---> 2 AlCl3 (aq) + 3 H2 (g)

The gas produced during the reaction builds up pressure until the bottle explodes.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)."-- Mark Twain
"There is not more dedicated criminal than a group of children."--addams


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