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The Quick and Easy Experiments thread.

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here`s the place to add/list any quick and easy experiments that can be done either at home or with simple equipment.

this is NOT a thread for Chat, and all experiments entered here MUST BE according to the SFN safety/legality regulations.

 

please keep all entries as complete and exact as possible.

 

where possible provide links with pictures (not a requirement).

 

All subjects are welcome, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Psychology etc...

 

single post... single experiment :)

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I was just reading a website about electrostatics (revision for exams) and there was a 'try this at home'... take a ruler and a few (quite, or very small) pieces of paper then rub the ruler with a jumper sleeve (or that's what I did) then place the ruler just above the small pieces of paper and due to electrostatic charges the paper will jump and be attracted to the ruler.

 

Just thought it was quite cool - you just see it happend and it's like that's why I love physics!

 

Hmmm, if you try very hard you can get the paper to float in between the table and the ruler, but it's very hard!

 

NB: This doesn't work with ALL jumpers... for example if your ruler 'wants' to lose electrons and you jumper does too then electron exchange will not take place and the ruler will not become electrostatically charged.

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A guass rifle is a magnetic linear accelerator, they are not normally harmful, esp. home made ones (unless you spend lots of money going to extremes)

 

This website will explain it better than I will!!!

 

http://www.scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/magnets/gauss.html

 

NB: They do recommend that you buy the materials from them. I do know some people who have bought from them and it was all fine, no scams or anything. Additionally I've tried making gauss rifles from 'normal' magnets and it's not very good. To get a decent (still totaly safe) speed powerfull magnets are needed. These can be bought in many places though, it doesn't have to be through the website.

 

The website:

http://www.scitoys.com/

Is very good, intended for safe for all ages (within reason) 'at home' experiments. Obviously I haven't looked at all the pages, if there are any good ones link below.

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Simple:

 

Get two wires, attach them to a battery, stick them in water, watch bubbles appear!

 

(for improvement add salt to warm watter, increase voltage, use carbon electrodes to replace the bare wires)

 

electro2.JPG

 

Advance:

 

What if we collected the hydrogen given off in the experiment and ignited it? The pressure produced could propel something, maybe some water?

 

phb.gif

 

The image is self explanatory, basic electrolysis of water is used to make hydorgen and oxygen which is collected as one. An ignitor is used to explode the hydrogen (it needs the oxygen, so remember to keep them both in the same place) and the pressure from the explosion forces the water out of the holes.

 

NB: This is a safe experiment, it's meant for kids!

 

PS. It'd be nice if some others posted experiments that I haven't heard of so I can do em!!!

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It's not exactly quick, or that incredibly easy, but making hovercrafts is a hobby of mine. If you want to make a really simplified one, grab a balloon, an old, unwanted CD (card that's NOT corrugated works better, and foam works best. Find something very thin and very light), and a thimble/empty thread spool/top to a plasic bottle (anything that the inflated balloon will stay attached to is fine), as well as some superglue or hot glue and (maybe) some scissors. Affix the empty thread spool to the center of the CD with the glue (CD's are nice here because you don't have to find the center), and put the balloonon top of the empty thread spool. It would be a good idea to rubber-band it on too, just to be sure it won't come off. Now, if you didn't use a CD for your base, you need to make a hole that goes all the way into the balloon (NOT through the balloon, you want to be able to inflate/deflate the balloon through the hole). Now inflate the balloon through the hole. Pinch the balloon so no air comes out. Place the whole thing on a smooth, flat surface, and un-pinch. Tada!

 

Here are some links that describe it far better than I:

Site 1

Site 2

Site 3

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Here is a simple VLF receiver. I don’t know how well it works because I don’t go out into the middle of no where very often. You haft to be about 15 km from any power lines or well traveled road. The best time to listen is at twilight or night time. For the JFET I use a NTE451. VLF listening is a new hobby of mine. A 10’ antenna is about best.

__

\|/

|.......................low current

|...........................JFET

| 47pF...........|------>>-

|-| |--|---|->|.........amp.

| 47pF|.....\...|--|..|->>-

|-| |--|4M /.......|..|

| 47pF|.....\.......|..|

|-| |--|..../.......|..|

| 47pF..... \.......|..|

|-| |----|-------|--|

(I hade to use .s so it wold work.

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Rapidly place a package of Menthos into a bottle of your favorite carbonated soft-drink. Stand back if you dont want to get soaked. Demonstrates catalysis of gas formation as the porous surface of menthos are a site of action for gas formation. (see at home experiments by Bill Nie...science guy).

 

Poster above...ARE YOU A HAM RADIO OP? I am...have an old 1950's VLF receiver, its cool..can listen to lightnen stricks, some airplane beacons, and i've been told brain waves..but never pursued it.

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A guass rifle is a magnetic linear accelerator, they are not normally harmful, esp. home made ones (unless you spend lots of money going to extremes)

 

Well i tryed this experiment a while back about a year and i have to say its quite fun. And let just say i went to extremes, i made an electromagnet and used two rc batteries and about 15 ft of 12 gauge copper wiring and a nice big 7 inch steel bolt. for the track i used some carbon fiber tubing cut in half(very hard to cut in half) and i used pachinko balls two on the projectile side and one on the other. I flicked one pachinko ball down the track hit the one and shot the other pachinko ball on the other side super fast. I use to have a pachinko ball stuck in my wall about half way until my dad saw it and yelled at me. then he gave me some puddy and paint and told me to fix it. Looking back at it i really wish i had a camera

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Source : Heinmann science 3 for Queensland

Regan Spence

Page 21

 

 

Experiment 5- electroplating

 

Aim- To use electrolysis to electroplate an iron nail with copper.

 

Materials-

 

-200ml Copper sulfate solution

-piece of copper

-large iron nail

-accurate scales (very important)

- 6 V power supply

- 2 leads with alligator clips

-steel wool

 

Method-

 

1 . Clean the peice of copper and the nail thoroughly with the steel wool.

 

2. Record the masses of the piece of copper and the nail. You could use a table to do so.

 

3. Connect the circuit as shown. Make sure the nail is connected to the negative terminal of the power supply.

 

4.Turn on the power, be very careful not to let the nail touch the copper as it will spark.

 

5. Take them both out and record the differences in mass.

 

6. note the appearence of both the nail and the copper

 

 

now its obvious that electroplating of the copper onto the iron occurs here mine didn't quite add up (most likely due to the scales) but it could have also been from the copper sulfate solution.

 

You can actually watch the electroplating happing with this one!!

image.JPG

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Ok, here's a quick one that's very safe.

 

I made an accopanying video: Rainbow Art - Thin Films.

 

Materials:

Black posterboard

Nail Polish

Pan of water

 

1. Submerge the posterboard in water.

2. Drop nail polish onto the water. Use an (sacrificial) eyedropper for bigger drops and bigger artwork. The drop will float like oil and then spread out, but dry because it is nail polish. It forms a thin film of thickness on the order of light wavelength to produce thin film interference.

3. Lift the paper starting at one end to capture the delicate films.

4. Let dry for several hours and you'll have beautiful rainbows.

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An easy way to make hydrogen gas with available household supplies is to put aluminum foil in a strong lye solution. It produces a large volume of gas quite quickly. WARNING: lye solution dissolves people and hydrogen easily goes bang!

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Ibeamer, you might also want to note that the reaction gets hot, extremely hot if you use strong lye and lots of aluminum foil. That is, however, a decent way to get hydrogen.

 

DIY Electrophilic aromatic substitution:

 

Required:

-Test tube or similar small, clear container

-Dropper

-Sodium bromide (NaBr. This is available as a bromine reserve starter for hot tubs/ spas)

-An acid (HCl, H2SO4, H3PO4, or any reasonable strength acid is acceptable. Sodium bisulfate is marginally acceptable, but stronger acids produce better results)

-Hydrogen peroxide solution (3% is available in most food stores as an antiseptic. Other concentrations are available if you know where to look)

-Chloraseptic spray (I'm not sure if this is available outside of the US. Make sure the bottle says it has phenol in it)

 

A tiny spatula of NaBr is placed in a test tube or any clear container that you can observe the reaction in. Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide solution. I used 6.5%, but 3% will work as well. Just use a little bit more if you're using 3%. The solution is acidified. I used a few drops of concentrated HCl, which produced a red-brown solution of bromine in water. Even sodium bisulfate (with a little water) will work, but the mixture appears yellow because the concentration of bromine is lower. The mixture is diluted a bit with water, so there is some room to see the reaction above any undissolved solids, and a few drops of chloraseptic spray is added. The chloraseptic spray is a source of phenol, a good example of an activated aromatic ring. The color of the solution fades as the bromine reacts, and a white precipitate forms. This precipitate is 2,4,6-tribromophenol, which has an intense antiseptic smell. With the red-brown solution, the drops of chloraseptic formed a thick white layer upon hitting the bromine water. With the dilute, yellow solution, there was a bit of delay before much precipitate formed, which clouded the solution, instead of forming a compact glob. The quantities used here are extremely small, and the few milliliters of waste (containing at most a few milligrams of tribromophenol) can be disposed of in the trash.

 

Happy experimenting :cool:

Edited by UC

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Making Sodium acetate is pretty easy all you need is:

 

1.500ml of white vinegar 4.5%-5% concentration

2.Baking soda

3. Pan

4. Heat

 

Steps:

 

1. Pour 500ml of white vinegar and slowly mix it up with 35grams of baking soda.

2.Boil the mixture down to 1/10th of its original volume.

3.Take the jelly like substance out and squeeze

4.You now have sodium acetate christals

 

Thank you

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Simple:

 

Get two wires, attach them to a battery, stick them in water, watch bubbles appear!

 

(for improvement add salt to warm watter, increase voltage, use carbon electrodes to replace the bare wires)

 

electro2.JPG

 

Advance:

 

What if we collected the hydrogen given off in the experiment and ignited it? The pressure produced could propel something, maybe some water?

 

We used a hofmann voltameter in school. Also while it says you need h20 water is a poor conductor of electricity so it is more like h20 + NaCl

 

330px-Hofmann_voltameter.svg.png

Edited by fiveworlds

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This is a very simple experiment that can be done by anyone at home. This science experiment is about surface tension of water and cohesive/adhesive nature of water. To do this experiment we take a coin and on one of the surface we start dropping small droplets of water. Amazing thing that we get to see here is that a lot of water accumulates on the coin surface. More than 50 to 60 drops of water drops fit on that small coin. This is amazing and it happens because of cohesive/adhesive nature of water. Water itself is cohesive in nature and when dropped on coin surface it tries to stick to coin surface due to adhesive nature. This whole effect is called surface tension of water which is high and it doesn't fall from coin very easily.

 

For example: Watch this video for how many drops a coin can hold and you will understand easily.

Edited by saca

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Hello Everyone, 

 

in reguards to what 5614 said about running the leads from a battery into the water to start the separation of hydrogen and oxygen, do you have any clue how high of voltage the battery needs to be to demonstrate this? 

 

Could you use a AA battery and still get it to work. 

 

Thanks. 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Joshuaonfire said:

Hello Everyone, 

 

in reguards to what 5614 said about running the leads from a battery into the water to start the separation of hydrogen and oxygen, do you have any clue how high of voltage the battery needs to be to demonstrate this? 

 

Could you use a AA battery and still get it to work. 

 

Thanks. 

 

 

Probably not. The reaction requires a minimum of 1.23 V, and you need more than that from your battery, because the potential drops throughout the circuit. AA gives a max of 1.5 V, and it’s lower for rechargeables and alkaline batteries thst have been used.

Two in series, though, should work. >5V would be even better 

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1 hour ago, John Cuthber said:

That may well be the most widely quoted wrong "fact"  on science fora.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nernst_equation

It’s everywhere.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water

http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/electrolysis.html

Feel free to update the wikipedia page

 

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