On September 29th the chemistry department had their annual magic show. Every year during family weekend, students from the science departments present chemistry demos to students and their families. The show is about an hour long with different chemistry related demos ranging from acid-base reactions to the effects of pressure on an object.
This year the show kicked off with a bang as a student placed flame next to a hydrogen filled balloon. The balloon popped, of course, and a burst of fire emerged from it. Things shifted towards the cold with the next demo, as students presented liquid nitrogen, a compound with a boiling point of -320 degrees. You can only imagine how cold that really is. Objects like flowers and a ratchet ball became placed in the liquid nitrogen and instantly shattered when thrown against a wall. Ice cream was also made with the liquid nitrogen.
The demo that was obviously the crowd’s favorite, was the rainbow connection. In this demo, a different student added acids to a series of beakers containing a base. As the acid is being added, the color begins to change. At the end, each of the different beakers contained a different color of the rainbow.
The magic show ended as an ethanol drenched Rooney was set on fire. Don’t worry, he didn’t burn. After the show, the audience was invited to taste the liquid nitrogen ice cream that they had made. I tried some and it was delicious!