Hot Science Experiments How-Tos

How To: Analyze cheap sulfuric acid for concentration & purity

In this home scientist video the instructor Robert Bruce talks about cheap sulfuric acid. He says that sulfuric acid is very important in any lab both as a reagent and a precursor for preparing other chemicals. He points to the battery acid saying that it is a good source of sulfuric acid which is 35% concentrated. Now he shows various methods to obtained sulfuric acid and shows how to test one of the thus obtained sulfuric acid for its concentration. In this video the author talks about sulf...

How To: Make hydrochloric acid from salt

In this tutorial, we learn how to make hydrochloric acid from salt. First, you will pour some salt into a distil flask. After this, you will add in some concentrated sulfuric acid to the salt. Next, you will let these react with each other. You will start to see gasses bubble up and the excess hydrogen chloride gas come out through the top of the tube. To create a stronger reaction, you can add heat underneath the reaction. Then, test this by exposing it to ammonium chloride. If it's the righ...

Classic Chemistry: Colorize Colorless Liquids with "Black" Magic, AKA the Iodine Clock Reaction

Want to make boring old colorless water brighten up on command? Well, you can control the color of water with this little magic trick. Actually, it's not really magic, but a classic science experiment known commonly as the iodine clock reaction, which uses the reactions between water and chemicals to instantly colorize water, seemingly by command. You can use different colorless chemicals to produce different colors, and you can even make the color vanish to make the water clear again.

How To: Perform the Barus effect

Watch this instructional science video to observe the Barus effect in action. A dyed solution of POLYOX (polyethylene oxide - it is the stuff used as the lubricant on the strip found in all modern razors) is extruded from a 50 mL syringe. On exit, a marked swelling in the liquid stream several times the diameter of the orifice is observed. The effect is referred to as the Barus Effect, but it also goes by several other names including the Merrington Effect, Die Swell, and Extrudate Swell.

How To: Make boric acid from borax

This is a video tutorial in the Education category where you are going to learn how to make boric acid from borax. For this experiment you will need borax (disodium tetra borate) and conc. hydrochloric acid. Take 25 ml of hydrochloric acid and dilute it with 75 ml of water. Next take 6 - 7 gms of borax and dissolve it in boiling water. Now add equal amount of hydrochloric acid. Crystals of boric acid will start forming. They are completely insoluble in cold water. After about half an hour, fi...

How To: Make maganese heptoxide (permanganic acid)

This video tutorial is in the Education category which will show you how to make manganese heptoxide (permanganic acid). This procedure is extremely dangerous. Manganese heptoxide is an extremely powerful oxidizing agent. It has the ability to set fuels on fire from mere contact. Get an old dish and put a spatula full of potassium permanganate on it. Add a few drops of concentrated sulphuric acid. A green liquid is formed which is the manganese heptoxide. Now you can add any fuel like butanol...

How To: Use superglue to reveal latent fingerprints

Do you need to check a scene for prints, or are maybe just curious about the techniques of forensic science? In this video, Robert Bruce Thompson from the Home Scientist unravels the mysterious of forensic fingerprinting using common materials that you may already have sitting around in your home right now. Explains and demonstrates the process of superglue fuming step-by-step to reveal latent fingerprints. Includes great tips on how to improve and speed up the process using household products.

How To: Empty a large water bottle in two seconds with a straw

Bottled-beer chuggers the world over already know that letting air into your beverage with a straw makes it pour faster into your mouth. Did you know, however, that the same technique can be modified and used to empty a fluid into another container (or onto the floor) even more quickly? This video will show you how to use a modified straw technique to introduce air into a large bottle of water or other drink bottle, causing the contents to empty at a torrid pace.

How To: Determine the empirical and molecular formulas for a compound in chemistry

In this free video science lesson from Internet pedagogical superstar Salman Khan, you'll learn how to determine the empircal and molecular formulas of a substance given percent composition. Whether you need help studying for that next big test or could just use a hand finishing your homework, you're sure to be well served by this video lesson. For more information, including detailed, step-by-step instructions, take a look.

How To: Build a wave machine out of household items

In this tutorial, we learn how to build a wave machine out of household items. You will need: 20 straws, 40 paper clips, 2 pieces of tape, and 1 washer to make this. First, you will need to pull out a long string of tape and lay it down with the sticky side up. After this, you will need to stick the straws on top of the tape in a row all going next to each other. Do this from the top to the bottom until all of the straws are stuck on. Then, stick the washer to the top and you are finished wit...

How To: Make your own nylon

In this tutorial, we learn how to make your own nylon. You will need: pipettes, pipette filler, forceps, beaker, stir rod, sebacoyl chloride and hexanediame solution. Now, pour some of the hexanediame solution into the small beaker. Add in a food coloring if you want to make this a specific color. After this, add in 4 cc's of sebacoyl chloride and carefully drip into the side of the beaker. You should see a layer of where the two liquids are after this. Now, take your tweezers and reach into ...

How To: Turn pennies into silver and gold coins with zinc

One of the most famous and repeated chemistry experiments involves money. Some would say this is more of a trick than an experiment, but you can be the judge of that. No one can just turn pennies into silver or gold coins, but someone with a few chemicals can. So, if you want to cooler cents in your pocket, try out this chemistry trick yourself. Nurd Rage (Dr. Lithium) shows you how to turn pennies into silver and gold coins using zinc.

How To: Make elemental sulfur (sulphur)

This video tutorial is in the Education category which will show you how to make elemental sulfur (sulphur). The chemicals you need are nitric acid and sodium thiosulphate. The reaction produces toxic SO2 gas so keep it coved with a watch glass. Put 12.9 grams of sodium thiosulphate in a beaker and dissolve it in minimum amount of water. Pour about 15ml of nitric acid in to the beaker. Let it sit in a warm place for a couple of hours and the sulphur will settle at the bottom of the beaker. Th...

How To: Use a Peltier module to create free electricity from heat

A Peltier module allows you to turn heat into electricity. Because you can place it in areas that are normally warm anyway, the electricity created is "free" in a sense, though it does work best when one side of the module is cold and the other is hot. In other words, all you'll need for this project is the Peltier module and a cooler surface such as soil or water, and a warm area such as a well lit window or warm pan.

How To: Make Potassium Chlorate from Ordinary Household Bleach and Salt Substitute

If you're not just a chemistry nerd, but also a firearms freak and explosives nut, then this home brew chemistry concoction is just what you need for some cheap homemade potassium chlorate. It's a mixture of potassium, chlorine and oxygen (KClO3) and is used for such things as gun primers, propellents, and explosives (when mixed with the appropriate fuel). And guess what? NurdRage is going to show you the steps for this makeshift potassium chlorate.

How To: Use baby powder to reveal latent fingerprints

This short video shows us how to reveal latent fingerprints on a glass surface by dusting. Anyone interested in forensic science would enjoy trying it as it shows simple steps in dusting and lifting fingerprints. It does not require any chemicals and we can do it with baby powder. The steps involved are so simple and easy to follow that even kids can try it out for fun. This gives a clear idea about fingerprints on different objects like porous, non porous and metals. Enjoy viewing and detect...

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