Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Household Acids and Bases Lab

In this lab, we performed a series of tests to find out the pH levels of different household items with different tests.  For the first test, we put certain liquids and mixtures onto a litmus sheet to see what color it would change to.  We tested, vinegar, ammonia, lemon juice, coke, drain cleaner, laundry detergent, baking soda and skim milk.  For the second test we added 3mL of cabbage juice to each test tube full of one of the above liquids/mixture to see the color change.  When we added the cabbage juice, the change was instantaneous.  For the final test, we put a pH sensor into each solution.  
Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Coke, and skim milk are acids because their pH level is lower than 7.  Ammonia, drain cleaner, laundry detergent, Baking Soda are basics because their pH levels are higher than 7.

Advantages to red cabbage juice and litmus papers are that they are easy to obtain. They are also fast and easy to perform. Although, the pH level will not be exact.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trinity and Beyond

July 16, 1945 was when the first bomb was sent off.  In Mexico, 100 pounds of TnT was used to scale an explosion of an atomic bomb.  In 1938 Hitler invaded Austria and shortly after German scientists discovered fission in the Uranium nucleus to help develop the atomic bomb.  On December 2nd, Enrico Fermi made a self-sustaining chain-reacting pile that he tried to use in a bomb.  The first bomb was made at Los Alamos, New Mexico.  Their were two main types at the start, the Uranium gun weapon or The Little Boy bomb and The Fat Man or the Implosion Bomb.  The Implosion bomb was made out of Plutonium.  It had an initiator in the middle surrounded by a sphere of highly explosive lenses.  The lenses forced the Plutonium into itself and caused 10 million pounds of pressure and  it could temporarily blind people within 10 miles.  The Little Boy bomb was dropped onto Hiroshima and the Fat Man bomb was dropped onto on Nagasaki.  70,000 people were killed or missing and 60,000 out of 90,000 buildings were destroyed.  42,000 people were killed and 40,000 were injured.  39 percent of the buildings at Nagasaki were demolished.  A research development was made in Los Alamos.  The US began Operation Sandstone.  They were developing an atomic bomb with the same size,but twice the blast with the same amount of Plutonium in it.  They kept the bombs on 200ft steel towers.  On March 4th and 5th, scientists made the Implosion bomb slimmer and lighter.  Next, on August 29, 1949, the Russian's test an atomic bomb 5 years earlier than expected.  They discovered that a US scientist passed the trinity design to the Russians.  Next came Operation Ranger, they tested out 5 new types of atomic bombs 60 miles north of las vegas.  In Operation Greenhouse, Ranger Able was the first bomb dropped into the US since the Trinity bomb exploded.  Test Item had Trillium in the center used as a booster.  Next, Operation Ivy, the Hydrogen bomb or wet bomb that weighed 62 tons.  This couldn't be delivered and it started the Thermonuclear era.  Ivy Mike had a small yield and was detonated low to the ground shot out of a cannon had a wind that'd sweep through as a precursor.  It caused more damage than a 28 kiloton bomb detonated 28k feet above the ground.  Castle Bravo was the largest thermonuclear blast.  In Operation Redwing, we tested high wield bombs.  During this time, the russians managed to start delivering hydrogen bombs by planes.  They did 24 tests for Operation Plumbob and kept them 1500 feet above ground.  On the 21st test, they put the bomb 790ft below the ground and it set a shockwave through the ground and raised dirt.  Operation Hardtack tested 35 bombs.  Tique, detonated 50 miles high, caused an EMP.  This was the beginnings of atmospheric tests.  The Russians secretly developed a "Monster Bomb."  This was a 57 megaton hydrogen bomb.  Between the years 1945 and 1962, 331 tests were detonated in the atmosphere.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ASU Field Trip

We covered a lot of different things for the three hours we were there.  We went from liquid nitrogen experiments to glass-blowing.  Firstly, we went to Gary.
Gary showed us a variety of experiments, some you can perform at home and others are higher tech or harder to get the materials.  I liked the liquid nitrogen experiments the best out of all that were performed.  I found it astonishing that if you pour the nitrogen onto the floor, it instantly changes form into vapor and lifts off of the floor.  The liquid nitrogen must be at -350 degrees Fahrenheit for it to maintain a liquid form.  Since the ground is room temperature, it instantly heated up to its boiling point and turned back into gas form.  The next thing he did that I liked was called the "electron gun."  It was a green beam of electrons.  He could control it using a magnet.  He moved it in the opposite direction because the magnet and the electrons repelled each other.  He did this with a different device, but the beam was purple.  You can change the color of the beam by having a different gas inside of the tube.  Next, we went to a woman in a subject called "Science is Fun."
In this experiment she dropped a bouncy ball into liquid nitrogen.  Since the nitrogen is so extremely cold it froze the ball.  When she bounced it, the ball broke into pieces because it changed it's composure to a glass type.  After letting it thaw out back to room temperature, it went back into its normal form.  After the last test, she showed us her hover board she created.
We moved on to Tim Kartcher after we were done here.  He told us about air pressure and vacuum.    He inflated tied balloons inside a glass jar by removing the air inside of it.  Since, the pressure in the balloon is now greater than the air pressure out side of it, it began to inflate.  Although, once air pressure returns they shrink again.
In the next picture, he shows how machines sped up the process of measuring air pressure(psi) compared to hand pumping.
Next we went to be shocked by 50,000 volts of electricity.  We all held hands and one person put their elbow where the boy's hand is.  It sent a jolt through your bones.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time for anything else with him or an explanation.
Finally, we went to the ASU glass blower for their chemistry equipment.  She made a Barometric Swan for Mrs. Binder.  Her glasses let her see threw the fire to tell if the glass is ready for bending yet.  This ended our trip to ASU for our group.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sodium silicate Polymer Lab

We made a Sodium silicate polymer by cross-linking Sodium silicate and Ethanol alcohol.  The two make a polymer.  A polymer is made by two or more monomers which are brought together by a cross linking agent.  In this experiment, the Ethanol is the cross linking agent.  Since we already knew that these would make a polymer, we decided to guess the characteristics of the new substance.  We guessed that this one would be a harder form.
This was taken after we molded it into a ball.  In comparison to the slime lab, this polymer was harder and required force to mold, it has a dampness on the surface of it, and a cloudy glassy look.  You could tell the reaction occurred because once I started mixing the two liquids a solid formed around the stirring rod.  
This small substance was attached to the stirring rod until it absorbed most of the liquids left.  In conclusion, this lab helped further progress our ability to measure properly in small amounts into a graduated cylinder.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polymer Basics

HandsOn Plastics
1. Plastics are polymers, which is something made of many units similar to a chain. Each
link in the chain is the “mer” or basic unit usually made out of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,
and/or silicon.  To make the chain, many links or units are hooked or polymerized together.

2. Many common classes of polymers are composed of hydrocarbons, which contain the elements
carbon and hydrogen. List seven elements that are also found in polymers: oxygen, chlorine, fluorine, nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, and sulfur.

3. What is one of the most famous silicon-based polymers? Silly Putty

4.  What are the general attributes (properties) of polymers?
A. Polymers can be very resistant to chemicals.
B. Polymers can be both thermal and electrical insulators.
C. Polymers are very light in mass with varying degrees of strength.
D. Polymers can be processed in various ways to produce thin fibers or very intricate parts.

5. What percentage of our trash are plastics? 9.9%

6. What does WTE mean? Waste-To-Energy. What are two benefits of WTE?
1 – We can use plastics that cannot be recycled.
2 – Incineration of polymers produces heat energy.

History of Plastics
Read the information on this page to help you complete this section. Fill in the blanks with the year it was first produced and the last name(s) of the person credited with the discovery/development. Use the information to list the substances with dates from the oldest to the most recent in the box.

Rayon – Developed in 1891 by Louis Marie Hilaire Bernigaut
Silly Putty - Developed in 1949 by James Wright
Cellophane - Discovered in 1900 by Jacques E Brandenburger
Parkesine - Discovered in 1862 by Alexander Parkes
Nylon - Developed in 1939 by Wallace Carothers
Bakelite - Developed in 1907 by Leo Baekeland
Velcro - Developed in 1957 by George De Mestral
Saran - Discovered in 1933 by Ralph Wiley  
PVC (Vinyl) – Developed by Walter Simon
Polyethylene – Developed in 1936 by Reginald Gibson & Eric Fawcett
Teflon – Discovered in 1938 by Roy Plunkett
Celluoid - Developed in 1868 by John Wesley Hyatt

Plastics Timeline
Oldest to Most Recent

1 Parkesine
2 Celluoid
3 Rayon
4 Cellophane
5 Bakelite
6 Saran
7 Polyethylene
8  Teflon
9 Nylon
10 Silly Putty
11 Velcro

Plastics & Polymers

Plastics have changed the world: Where did the word plastic come from?
The word plastic came from the Greek word plasticos which means "to mold".

What are plastics? Define the following words after reading the section titled “What are plastics”

• monomer:
A monomer is a tiny organic molecule that can join with other monomers to create a polymer.

• polymer:
A polymer is the result you end up with when you join multiple monomers together.

• organic material:
Organic materials have molecules that contain carbon and other substances.  They usually are found from oil and natural gas as well as other organic materials.

Polymerization: The steps listed below explain how plastic is made. Fill in the missing blanks.

1. Crude oil, the unprocessed oil that comes out of the ground, contains hundreds of different hydrocarbons, as well as small amounts of other materials. The job of an
oil refinery is to separate these materials and also to break down (or "crack) large hydrocarbons into smaller ones.

2. A petrochemical plant receives refined oil containing the small monomers they need and creates polymers through chemical reactions.

3. A plastics factory buys the end products of a petrochemical plant - polymers in the form of resins - introduces additives to modify or obtain desirable properties, then molds or otherwise forms the final plastic products.

Polymers are Everywhere: Read the paragraph titled “Polymers are Everywhere”, then answer true or false to the following questions.

True Plastics are polymers, but polymers don't have to be plastics.

False Cellulose, the basic component of plant cell wall, and DNA, the long molecule in the nuclei of your cells that carries all the genetic information about you, are both examples of plastics.

True Natural polymers include silk, wool, cotton, wood, and leather.

Thermoplastics & Thermosets: Plastics are classified into two categories according to what happens to them when they're heated to high temperatures. Complete the table below.
Can it be reshaped?
Ice that is heated and then melts is like a thermoplastic because thermoplastics melt.
Eggs that are changed from either
hard-boiled to scrambled to fried eggs
can change into many different things.  Thermosets can also change into many different forms/things.
Strong or Weak bonds?
Weak Bonds
Strong Bonds
plastic wrap, food containers, garden hoses, lighting panels, and plastic bags
glues, varnishes, electronic
components, kitchen tools
Recycling: Easy or Hard?
Easy to recycle
Hard to recycle (Today they can
be crushed down to a powder)

Polymer Flash Activities

1. Click the link to make a virtual polymer and choose polyethylene.
A. What type of monomer is used to make this polymer? Ethylene
B. What elements and how many of each is in one of these monomers?
 C = Carbon  # - 2  H = Hydrogen  # -4
C. What starts the process? Initiator

2. Click the link to try the matching games.  Record your times or scores in the blanks below.
A. Breakfast Game– 1st Try = 9530  2nd Try = 9485  3rd Try = 9388
B. Polymer Game - – 1st Try = 9488   2nd Try = 9276  3rd Try = 9499

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Slime Lab

In this lab, we were cross-linking Elmer’s glue with Sodium borate.  We were trying to figure out how the physical properties of the polymer change because of cross-linking.  Also, we had to find out how adding more agents would change it.  We predicted that if we mix the Elmer’s glue with the Sodium borate, then it will change it’s state of matter and the more you add the bigger the change.
When we added the water to the glue, it’s texture became more like flowing liquid and not like melted marshmallows.  Mixing the borax with the other beaker of water was just like mixing sugar or salt into any liquid.  When we were pouring the borax into the glue, it made a hole where I was pouring the water/borax solution.  Almost instantaneously it began to form a solid form.  To the left, is what the solid looked like when we first started stirring.
We performed a “slime test.”  On a scale of sliminess of 1 to 5, we gave it a 4.  It smelt like glue.  It looked like half melted marsh mellows before we rolled it into a ball.  Also, it looked like egg whites.  When we attempted to bounce it, it would bounce with one large initial bounce then 3-4 small ones.  Next, when we tried pulling them apart slowly/quickly they both ripped apart a second or two after we began.  When we’d poke our finger through it slowly, the slime would form around it.  If we were to do it faster, the finger would poke through nearly instantaneously.  For our final test, we had to time how long it’d take for it to flatten.  It took 3 minutes 34 seconds. This was my drawing when it first started.
In conclusion, our hypothesis was correct.  The glue changed from liquid to solid within seconds of pouring it in. Doing this experiment brought us closer together and made us all more comfortable with each other.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ChemThink: Chemical Reactions

1. Starting materials in a chemical reaction are called reactants.
2. The ending materials in a chemical reaction are called products.
3. The arrow indicates a chemical change has taken place.
4. All reactions have one thing in common: there is a rearrangement of the chemical bonds.
5. Chemical reactions always involve breaking old bonds, forming new bonds, or both.
6. In all reactions we still have all of the atoms at the end that we had at the start.
7. In every reaction there can never be any new atoms or missing atoms.
8. Chemical reactions only change the position and bonds of the atoms that are already
9. If we use only the atoms shown, we’d have 2 atoms of H and 2 atoms of O as reactants. This would make 1 molecule of H2O, but we’d have 1 atom of O leftover. However, this reaction only makes H2O.
10. So to make H2O from oxygen gas and hydrogen gas, the balanced equation would be:
2 H2 + O2 ----> 2 H2O
11. This idea is called the Law of Conservation of Mass.
12. There must be the same mass and the same number of atoms before the reaction (in the reactants) and after the reaction (in the products).
13. What is the balanced equation for this reaction? 2 Cu + O2 ! 2 CuO
14. In the unbalanced equation there are: Reactants ----> Products
Cu atoms    1    Cu atoms 1
O atoms      2    O atoms 1
15. To balance this equation, we have to add two molecules to the products because this reaction doesn’t make lone atoms.
16. When we added a molecule of CuO, now the number of O atoms is balanced but the number of Cu atoms.
17. The balanced equation for this reaction is 2 Cu + O2 ----> 2 CuO
18. What is the balanced equation for this reaction? 1 CH4 + 2 O2 ---->  2 H2O + 1 CO2
19. What is the balanced equation for this reaction? 1 N2 + 3 H2 ----->  2 NH3
20. What is the balanced equation for this reaction? 2 KClO3 ----> 2 KCl + 3 O2
21. What is the balanced equation for this reaction? 4 Al + 3 O2 ----->  2 Al2O3

1) Chemical reactions always involve breaking old bonds, forming new bonds, or both.
2) The Law of Conservation of Mass says that the same atoms must have the same mass and number of atoms before and after the bond.
3) To balance a chemical equation, you change the number in front of each substance until there are the same number of each type of atoms in both reactants and products.