On April 29th, 2011 the Science Brothers visited Parker Elementary School. Another beautiful day for science, this time we had extra help. Unfortunately, we ran into some problems with the sound system.
Chemicals often come in bottles or packages labeled with very important safety information summarized in a symbol called the “Fire Diamond.” This picture shows at a glance the type and severity of the risks that a hazardous chemical presents.
This has to be my favorite experiment I’ve done so far! The Barking Dog is a really exciting demonstration of a combustion reaction, or a chemical reaction where one material burns in another. This demonstration very beautifully brings together many of the other topics Bill and I talk about in the show, like energy, light, sound, and color!
Sometimes I like to play a little trick on my brother, who doesn’t know anything about chemistry, and get him to mix some chemicals together for me. After getting him to put on some safety gear (gloves and goggles), I tell him to mix two different chemicals together for me. Usually he does it wrong (on purpose probably), but that’s where the trick comes in. If you put too much of one into the other, it almost explodes with tons of foam and steam! It’s a bonus if he gets foam on him, but usually he gets out of the way in time.
One of the demonstrations we do in our show is the classic chemistry experiment called the Chemical Chameleon. This is a color changing reaction that proceeds on its own through a number of different beautiful colors, and involves some really interesting chemistry.
The Tesla Coil we use in our show is a modern version of a classic device invented by Nikola Tesla. Our coil is called a DDSSTC (Dual Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil). This means the coil is controlled by transistors, just like in the computer you are reading this on. This is a modern upgrade to the device Tesla created, called the SSTC (Spark Gap Tesla Coil). But how does it work?