Gar Jar Demos

I’ve recently been doing some demos showing how the pH of the period 3 oxides changes. The demos involved the combustion of various period 3 elements with oxygen, dissolving the oxide in water and adding universal indicator to show the pH. It’s very visual and always goes down well with the students. This made me think about all the different experiments I do using gas jars and the fume cupboard and I thought I would list them. I generally demo sodium, ...

Interesting Elements

Praseodmium (Pr). Most of us haven't heard of this element, yet alone know what is interesting about it! Praseodmium has been written about elsewhere in this blog. It is one of the rare earth elements and was featured in a series on the rare earth's around 18 months ago. What makes it unusual is that it can be made into an alloy by mixing with nickel to form PrN5.1 Nickel, as we all know is magnetic. What is unusual about this alloy is that ...

Cryolite – Everything you wanted to know and more

It happens every year doesn't it? You are teaching about the production of aluminium, you say that cryolite is used to lower the melting point* and some bright spark starts asking you about cryolite. What is it? Where is it from?  and so on. Well todays positng is aimed at keeping that inquisitive student quiet. All his or her questions can now be answered. Read on.... ..... Cryolite is sodium aluminium fluoride (NaAlF6) and is actually a synthetic substance. In the Hall - ...