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Looking for a cool Chemistry Project

  1. Dec 6, 2005 #1
    Our Chem AP teacher is looking for a cool chem project that we can do (preferably in groups). The reason being that the Physics AP class always gets to do cool stuff (and show it to parents and stuff) and we are just stuck in a lab for most of the time.
    But it's hard to come up with something like that for chem, so I was wondering if you guys have any ideas.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2005 #2
    Can you obtain water from ink, vinegar, milk?

    Testing of consumer products- glues, stain removers, antiseptics, mouthwash, detergents, paper towels, making salt water potable, removal of pollutants
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #3
    chemiluminescence demonstrations, perhaps?
  5. Dec 7, 2005 #4
    Try finding out how much surface area 1 g of activated charcoal has by seeing how much it can absorb. It will blow your mind! You will see why charcoal is good for "curing" someone who is poisoned with something. you are probably in high school so that will limit what experiments you can do since you probably don't have access to decent analytical equipment.
  6. Dec 7, 2005 #5
    Hehe BTW, here is a college trick I heard of which you might need when you go to college. If you ever get extremely smashed just eat some burnt toast. The burned toast is basically charcoal which should absorb some of the alcohol out of your stomach which may prevent you from alcohol poisoning or lessing the severity of your hangover. Again, I don't know if this is "real" science and don't know how well charcoal can absorb alcohol, but it seems pretty reasonable to me.
  7. Dec 7, 2005 #6
    Ahh i can't wait anymoe I just have to give the punch line away. If you do the experiment I suggested you will see that 1gram, thats right only 1 g aka basically a spoon full of charcoal has a surface area of anywhere from 500-1000 m^2 !!!!!!!!!!! To give you an idea of how much that is-a tennis court usually is about 260 m^2 in surface area!
  8. Dec 7, 2005 #7
    i think try to find out the sulphur dioxide content in the white wine may sound interesting!!
  9. Dec 7, 2005 #8


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    I like the chemiluminescence idea. I did that when I took AP chem. You basically just mix a solution of Luminol with hydrogen peroxide. By the way, Luminol is the same stuff they use in all those Law & Order type shows to detect traces of blood in back seat of a car or something.

    Another demo that another student in my AP chem class did was turning copper into gold. Essentially, you plated some gold colored metal onto a penny. It's not really gold, but it looks like it. I don't remember the details of that one though. All of our demos came out of a couple of demo books that my teacher had.
  10. Dec 7, 2005 #9
    Would that chemiluminescence thing be a good idea for a science fair project ? It sounds cool but it also doesn't sound detailed enough for a science fair project.
  11. Dec 7, 2005 #10
    If you want chemiluminescence go buy a glow stick or catch a lightning bug.
  12. Dec 7, 2005 #11
    The colors of the various oxidation states of Chromium?
  13. Dec 7, 2005 #12
    That might be fun, but it wouldn't be fun getting cancer from the Cr :yuck: .
  14. Dec 8, 2005 #13


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    It might be. You could look at the different kinds of substances that luminol reacts with to give the characteristic emission under UV light. You might then try to figure out what is common among these substances to give that reaction. You can surely find info on the luminol oxidation by google searching.
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