Chemistry

A Bending Bone

Unless it is something that has a soft and wobbly structure, like a jellyfish, all animals, including humans, have a stiff skeleton to support their muscles and other body tissues,…

The Science of Making Butter

Bread and butter go together naturally (especially freshly made bread still warm from the oven). There are records of butter making from around 4000 years ago. Butter usually comes from…

Cleaning Tarnish Off Silver: Bicarbonate and Aluminium

After a while, even the best and most carefully polished silver becomes dull and tarnished, and needs to be cleaned again. Why does it tarnish, and how can it be…

Making Hot Ice

Water solidifies or turns to ice at zero degrees centigrade. This experiment makes something that looks just like ice but forms at room temperature and gives off heat. The experiment…

Make a Soda Fountain

Drinks are fizzy because they have carbon dioxide in them – the gas is forced into the drink at low temperatures and dissolves. Homemade fizzy drinks can be made using…

Invisible Ink

Invisible ink, sometimes called ‘sympathetic ink’, is a way of writing secret messages. Spies have used invisible inks to pass on secret messages, as have prisoners and hostages. Invisible Messages…

Soap and Detergent Chemistry

Soap is made from animal fats and vegetable oils, mixed with a caustic chemical called sodium hydroxide (also known as lye). The sodium hydroxide reacts with the oil to make…

Ice Cream: Colloidal Chemistry

What is a summer without ice cream cones, or a slice of apple pie without a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream? Though it looks simple – cream, milk, sugar…

Acids and Alkalis: Which Are Which?

The pH scale is a scale of numbers that describes how acid or alkaline (another word for alkaline is ‘basic’) something is. A pH indicator is a liquid or paper…

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