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FWS – Chemical Chameleon Reaction

November 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

The chemical chameleon reaction is a two step reaction in which you can visualise various oxidation states of manganese starting with potassium permanganate (+7) and ending with manganese dioxide (+4). The reaction is performed in alkaline conditions using caster sugar as a reduction agent. In the first step of this reaction, the purple potassium permanganate is being reduced down to the green manganate ion. A mixture of these two compounds gives the solution a blue colour. MnO4- + e- → [...]

FWS – Homemade Diffusion Cloud Chamber

February 21, 2013 // 2 Comments

In this video Myles Power shows how to make a cloud chamber. A cloud chamber, also known as the Wilson chamber, is a device which makes visible the paths of charged particles emitted as a result of radioactive decay. A very simplified version of the cloud chamber called a “diffusion cloud chamber” can be constructed at schools from available scientific supply companies. This experiment is perfect for teteaching students about radioactive decay and ionising radiation. Fullmetal [...]

FWS – Destroying my xbox360 with THERMITE!

May 22, 2012 // 2 Comments

Myles xbox 360 gave him the red ring of death so he decided to take revenge on it using 1.5kg of thermite. Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide that produces an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction. When aluminium is the reducing agent it is called an aluminothermic reaction. This reaction is extremely dangerous and Myles advise that you not to repeat it. Missing Safety Glasses Every effort was put into safety (fire extinguishers, flame retardant [...]

FWS – Dehydration of Sugar by Sulfuric Acid

April 28, 2012 // 4 Comments

When I tell people that I am a organic chemist they either think I work in a farmacy or that I am a hippy above my station. But what it really means it that I work with carbon containing compounds.The perfect reaction to show the carbon contained within these compounds is the dehydration of sugar using H2SO4. When the two are mixed the mixture turns yellow, then brown, then black. A large column of carbon is then expelled from the beaker.  (C12H22O11 → 12 C + 11 H2O) This experiment also [...]

FWS – Sparklers Underwater

April 3, 2012 // 1 Comment

Did you know that sparklers can burn under water? This is because they contain an oxidizer (usualy Potassium nitrate or Potassium perchlorate) as a oxygen source instead of getting oxygen from the air. As a result, they are able to burn even when they are placed in an environment where oxygen is absent as Myles [...]

FWS -Playing With Fire! (flame test)

February 4, 2012 // 1 Comment

A flame test used to identify boron and sodium. Abstract In this experiment, you will use a flame test to visually determine the identity of a metal or metalloid ion, based on the colour it turns a flame. This is because each element has an exactly-defined emission spectrum, which scientists can use to identify them. For example, lithium produces a red flame and sodium a yellow flame. This experiment can be performed at home, but must be done under the supervision of a responsible adult. [...]

FWS – How to Make a Laser Microscope

October 20, 2011 // 2 Comments

Using a £10 laser and a syringe you can magnify a water sample 1000s of times over at home.  Using this method you will be able to projected on your wall single cell creatures, modketos lave, microscopic worms, etc. This experiment is easy to set up and perform at home and is perfect for a school science projects. The picture below is a 5mm mosquito larvae projected to be 3m long using this method. [...]

FWS – Growing Manchester Bacteria

October 15, 2011 // 5 Comments

For fun myself and Laura my housemate went around Manchester swabbing it. We then grew our samples on agar to see what disgusting things we could get to grow and who was more disgusting out of the two of us. I filmed this mid thesis writing and you can really see how tired and fat I [...]