Helium

By Wednesday, January 26, 2011 , , , , 0

  Helium, He, atomic mass = 2. This is a strange element - a noble gas, sometimes thought of as being a metal, other times a non metal. Perhaps the most unusual property though is that it is a super-fluid. When cooled to close to absolute zero, at around 2K it will liquefy. If it is put into a cup it will flow up the sides. Stir it and it will swirl around forever. 2Z6UJbwxBZI Why?  It has become superfluid. It is a liquid with no viscosity ...

Triple Points

By Wednesday, January 12, 2011 , , , , 0

  I saw an excellent TV programme last night on the BBC iPlayer. The series was 'Horizon' and the episode was titled 'What is one degree?'  (Click here to watch it). The comedian Ben Miller presented the show (incidentally, he has a physics PhD from Cambridge University!) The programme mainly deals with temperature but there are a few sections that relate to chemistry. What caught my eye in particular was a section on the triple point of water. The triple point of a substance is when ...

Calculating a value for Absolute Zero

By Thursday, April 8, 2010 , , , , 0

This a nice, simple IA lab that is worth trying out. In a nutshell, the basic procedure is as follows: Fill a gas syringe with a single gas (Oxygen or Helium are good)   Cool the gas (at least five times), measuring the volume each time. Plot a graph of temperature (x-axis) vs volume (y -axis) and extrapolate This is just the basic outline for the method - if you need more details let me know. Not sure I would use it for Design ...