As a part of providing something a little more interesting, I’ve decided to share an awesome science video with you each week – something creative, interesting or just downright bizarre. Chemistry doesn’t need to be boring equations and lame test tube reactions that don’t work. Sometimes a little bit of science is an awesome thing!
This week I’ve been teaching the chemistry bridging course at UTS, which is partly why it’s been a week since my last post. As part of one of my lectures on the first day, we were looking at comparing the behaviour of water (H2O) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) – seeing how one tiny difference in the molecular formula has a profound effect on how a substance behaves. So we watched a video on YouTube of the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Now this reaction is normally very slow, but if we add a catalyst, the reaction becomes violently fast! Bubbles of oxygen gas are produced really, really quickly, which would normally just make it fizz a little, so nothing fun there. But if we add a little detergent and food colouring to the mix, we make the magical Elephant Toothpaste! Enjoy!