Hot Science Experiments How-Tos

How To: Make Trippy Triboluminescent Crystals That Glow Red or Blue When You Smash Them

If you're a Breaking Bad junkie who can't wait for the next episode, satisfy your craving with a little at-home chemistry and make some blue DIY smash-glow crystals! No, this is not Walter White's so-called "Big Sky" or even the subpar cringe-worthy product of his competitors. It's not even the same kind of crystals, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. This is totally legal, even kid-friendly if you play it safe, though it actually requires more safety precautions than the potassium nitra...

How To: Discover the Hidden Colors in Everyday Objects with This DIY Video Spectrometer

A spectrometer is a device that splits light into all of the different colors it's composed of that can't be seen with the naked eye. It does this by using a prism to refract or bend the light. Jeffrey Warren over at Public Labs created a tutorial showing how you can make your own video spectrometer and create spectra like the one pictured below. Any guesses as to what the subject is? Believe it or not, that's what whipped cream looks like when viewed through a spectrometer. You can do this w...

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: Test for boron with curcumin

Want to test whether the soil sample or a water sample contains boron, watch this video. As shown in the video, the first step is to create test specimens of various concentrations using a simple turmeric and ethanol solution as a base for comparison. The basis of this experiment is the fact that curumin present in turmeric reacts with boron to form a reddish compound and so the result of this reaction can easily be verified visually.

How To: Make bubbling acid with ammonia and dry ice

In the mood for a little mad science? In this home-science how-to from Steve Spangler, we learn how to prepare a bubbly, color-changing concoction using water, ammonia, a universal indicator (cabbage juice will do fine), dry ice, gloves and two plastic cups. Now, repeat the process, this time adding a teaspoon of ammonia when you add your universal pH indicator.

How To: Synthesize copper(II) carbonate & sodium bicarbonate

This actions is a video tutorial in the Education category where you are going to learn how to synthesize copper(II) carbonate & sodium bicarbonate. For this you will need copper sulphate which is available in root kill and sodium bicarb which is baking soda. Take 100g of copper sulphate and dissolve in about 400ml of water. Now take 69.27g of baking soda. Add baking soda very slowly and keep stirring the solution. You got to be very careful as the chemical reaction will produce lot of carbon...

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 a protractor to measure the height of any object

In this video, we learn how to use a protractor to measure the height of any object. First, attach a level to the protractor, followed by a straw at the 45 degree angle. Next, walk back form the object while looking through the straw. Keep walking back until you spot the top of the object through the straw, then measure to the base of the object. After this, you will have an isosceles triangle that has two equal sides. Use these sides to help find what the size of the object is. After this, a...

How To: Make potassium nitrate for black powder

In this video, we learn how to make potassium nitrate for black powder. First, purchase some Pottasche. After this, mix equal parts of the pottasche with ammonium nitrate. These will combine together, then set the glass on top of the measuring device and the mixture will start to bubble slightly. You will see a black formation occur inside of the mixture. After this, remove the ammonium carbonate from the water using a filter. Then you will be left with potassium nitrate. Be very careful with...

How To: Get a coin out of water without getting wet

In this tutorial, we learn how to get a coin out of water without getting wet. First, place the coin inside of water on a plate. Next, use a lighter to light a piece of paper on fire, then place the paper inside the water cup and let it smoke and burn. Next, push the cup down onto the plate, and it will soak up all the water that was on the plate! Then, your penny will be dry and you can pick it up without getting wet! This is a great trick to show your friends and works easily without any pr...

How To: Make non-Newtonian slime mixing cornflour and water

In this tutorial, we learn how to make slime by mixing corn flour and water. To start, you will need corn flour, water, and two plastic containers. First, pour the corn flour into one plastic container and then add in some water with food coloring to the mix. After this, mix the combination together until it makes a paste. Add more water or corn flour as you mix. When finished, grasp the mix in your hands and it will start to turn into slime! You can color this with any color food coloring, b...

How To: Use gravimetric analysis to analyze sulfuric acid

This video is based on a chemistry experiment. This video is going to explain to us how to use gravimetric analysis in order to analyze sulfuric acid. This experiment should not be done for those who do not have a fundamental knowledge of chemical compounds, reactions and chemical safety. He explains first what he is about to do before he does it. Sulfuric acid is acidic and can be toxic if ingested or in contact with the eyes. Take extreme care with this experiment.

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: Find the volume of a sphere

In this video the author show how to find the volume of a sphere. The formula for finding the volume of a sphere is 4/3 * Pi * r*r*r, where r is the radius of the sphere. Now to compute the volume of a sphere you have to note down the radius of the sphere and substitute it in the above formula along with the other substitutions. The author shows this with an example by taking a sphere of some radius and calculating its volume. To find out how to calculate the volume of a sphere watch this vid...

How To: Create napalm

This video illustrates how to make napalm. You will need a petri dish, gasoline, and styrofoam to create napalm. Combining the styrofoam and gasoline in a petri dish you allow the styrofoam to dissolve and become a semi-solid substance. It will have the consistency of chewing gum and it will be highly flammable. This substance will be sticky and if lit it should be lit outside and at a distance from anyone as it will produce a gas that is toxic.

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: Rip a Penny in Half

No, we're not lying. But before you try and tear a plain old penny in half, you should probably watch this video first or you may hurt your fingers. While ordinary pennies are very, very difficult to rip, if you get rid of the zinc core you are left with only the thin copper shell, which is itself very easy to tear apart.