Which option?

As the academic year draws to an end I thought it would be worth planning ahead and thinking about the options. We will deal with the big question in a moment (ie, which option?) but it is also worth planning ahead and asking yourself the question – when? (will I do the option?) You may have already informally have started your option teaching – the new guide makes the links with the core and AHL part of the so easy to see ...

Is James Bond to blame?

It is nearly 50 years since the first James Bond film 'Dr. No' was released. The movies plot involves a maniac, intent on world domination who is operating a nuclear reactor from his small island in the Caribbean. Yes - hard to believe I agree! For image source, see below. However, this movie has recently been criticised by Prof David Phillip, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for casting a negative light over the image of nuclear power. The professor claims that Dr. ...

Solar Updraft Towers

By Wednesday, October 13, 2010 , , , , 0

Follwing on from yesterdays alternative energy posting... Solar updraft towers are essentially a large chinmey that is connected to a large area on the ground covered by clear plastic. Image reproduced according to the licence found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_updraft_tower.svg The suns energy heats up the air under the clear plastic and it is drawn up into the atmosphere through the chimney. Now for the clever part, the chimney has turbines that will be turned by the hot air rushing through it. Watch this youtube clip for ...

Candles

  It was one of my students birthdays last week. The student brought in a cake, I had a candle, we lit it, sang happy birthday, etc ..... and then had a remarkably good discussion into wjat happens during the combustion of a candle. What is actually burning? The students asked. The wax? the wick? both? neither? By Matthew Bowden www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/148763) , via Wikimedia CommonsThis is actually a good discussion to have if you are about to teach this organic Chemistry ...

Heat flow

Heat is a bit like time - it only flows in one direction. From heat's point of view it flows from hot to cold. Here is a dead simple experiment to show this - and it contains some good IB Chemistry as well. Get an ice cube. Soak a piece of string in water. Lay the end of the string on the ice cube and sprinkle some salt onto the string. The string will freeze onto the ice cube. But why? Well, ...

Atomic absorption and emission spectra

In very simple terms, emission or absorption spectra are obtained when electrons absorb or emit electromagnetic radiation and in doing so move from one energy level to another. The emitted energy is in the form of a photon with a specific frequency and this quantifies the difference in energy levels. By viewing the sun, scientists were able to discover a new element, Helium. The following website allows you to see the absorption or emission spectra for all of the elements. http://jersey.uoregon.edu/vlab/elements/Elements.html

Exothermic and Endothermic Change

Students love new trends and we have one just starting in our school that has origionated from some lessons (not mine!) on endo and exothermic reactions. The trend is handwarmers ...... and it's not even that cold! There are two types of heat changes associated with chemical reactions. Exothermic reactions (ones that give off heat energy) and endothermic reactions (those that take in heat enery). An example of an exothermic reaction would the thermite reaction:   This reaction evolves (gives off) large amounts of heat ...