Many science students and professionals know that when Table salt, Sodium chloride (NaCl) mixes with water (H2O) it dissolves. But if the amount of salt added to water was beyond the solubility limit then it will not dissolve but just be a solid precipitate (salt) at the bottom of the container. How about being able to see this chemical process in a microscopic video? Beautiful Chemistry gives you that opportunity.
Recently I came across this platform, Beautiful Chemistry, new collaboration between Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China that wants to make chemistry more interesting to the general public. You can find here one of their projects, a creation of several short films that utilize a 4K UltraHD camera to capture a variety of striking chemical reactions. Filmed and edited by Yan Liang.
In the video you’ll find 8 different chemical reactions.
The video shows a transparent solution in a test tube at the beginning and a cloudy liquid at the end after adding a few droplets of another solution. However, when we used cubic glass cells to replace test tubes and took a much closer look, their unique beauty was revealed.
You also find in the video a reaction when a piece of metal salt was dropped in water glass (water solution of sodium silicate, Na2SiO3). The salt began to grow and generate many interesting forms due to the formation of water-permeable metal silicate membranes and osmotic effects.
Zinc metal dropped in silver nitrate (AgNO3), copper sulfate (CuSO4), and lead nitrate (Pb(NO3)2) solutions, and recorded the emergence of silver, copper, and lead metals with beautiful structure.
The electrolysis of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) aqueous solution. It is obvious that the reaction generated more hydrogen (H2) at the cathode than oxygen (O2) at the anode.
Color change of purple cabbage and a flower named Teornia fournieri in sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrochloric acid (HCl) solutions.
In the video you’ll also find the crystallization of copper sulfate (CuSO4), sodium thiosulfate (Na2S2O3), potassium ferrioxalate (K3[Fe(C2O4)3]), and sodium acetate (CH3COONa). More accurately, these crystals all have water molecules inside them. Their chemical formulas are CuSO4·5H2O, Na2S2O3·5H2O, K3[Fe(C2O4)3]·3H2O, and CH3COONa·3H2O.
Dancing Fluorescent Droplets
Oily chemicals inside fluorescent sticks were mixed and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution then added to the mixture to produce colorful fluorescent droplets with dynamic movements.
The video shows the black smoke of candle soot darkening a sheet of transparent glass, the smoke from incense burning (the smell was nice), and the ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) smoke formed when hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas and ammonia (NH3) gas came together.
Imagine if we all learnt chemistry like this, would have paid more attention now doubt. It’s nice that technology is being used to improve learning. What are your thoughts?
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