Simple but complex

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Sparkofbliss, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Sparkofbliss Registered Senior Member

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    Any simple intersting ,easy to do ,school level chemistry experiment explaining complex concept?
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Experiments may illustrate concepts but they don't generally explain them. Typically it's the other way round: the concept is developed to explain the result of the observations.
     
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  5. kumar11 Registered Member

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    I used to teach chemistry, and here are a couple of ideas that were a hit. You can use google to learn the chemistry. They are very easy to find on YouTube.
    -Exploding gummy bear
    -Create hydrogen gas (HCl + Zn --> H2 + ZnCl2). This is a redox reaction. Capture H2 in a baloon, then tape balloon to stick and place over bunsen burner (Hindenburg Explosion).
     
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    An exciting experiment is the thermite reaction. This uses powder aluminum and rust or iron oxide. Once the reaction is initiated, the aluminum will quickly pull the oxygen right off the rust (iron oxide) and form a blob of pure molten iron.

    Aluminum oxide formation is ones of the most exothermic reactions. This reaction path is preferred and will even pull oxygen off powdered rust and leave behind only molten iron. This is a very vigorous reaction and will burn through most containers. It was used back in the day as a way to weld broken steel parts, such as ship propellors, with the blob of molten iron acting as the weld.

    I remember seeing it for the first time in a chemistry lecture, it was almost scary. The professor was showing concern when the ceramic container burned through, and the reaction fell out of the bottom and continued to burn on the collection tray below. Then we saw the blob of iron, glowing, WTF! It was exciting and made you appreciate heats of reaction. It also may you realize why aluminum is not found as a metal in nature but needs to be made a metal with electrical means.
     
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting. I've never come across anything on fractal geometry and chemical bonding and was unable to trace anything on the subject with the quick web enquiry that I have just tried.

    Do you have a reference for this that you can direct me to?
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I used the search for "Fractals in chemistry" and had some results. I cannot comment on their scientific value.

    http://www.mathinscience.info/public/chem_reac_frac/chm_reac_fractals_less.htm

    Info is there, but you may want to try several combinations of posing the search question. Some images which may be of interest,
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q= chemical fractals&qpvt= chemical fractals&FORM=IGRE
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the links. I've now read a review of Rothschild's book. However this does not seem to involve a fractal theory of chemical bonding. It was the suggestion that there might be one that puzzled and intrigued me.
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    As I said, I am out of my league here, but I saw a picture of graphene bonding and it looked fractal to me, but would like to hear your analysis.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Frequency...r-Crystals-For-NanoTech-Needed-Now&id=7229812

    nano technology ????
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    You mean the hexagonal lattice? No, that's not fractal, that's just normal sp2 bonding of carbon - the limiting case of a lot of fused benzene rings. The thing about fractals is you do not get simple geometrical shapes but complicated whorls and spirals that are aesthetically pleasing. I've often wondered if this is because they mimic in some ways the growth pattern of plants, and thus appeal to our atavistic memory of living in the trees or something [stops scratching armpit].

    But the chemical structure of crystalline materials usually involves far simpler repeating units, in a regular array, with a high degree of symmetry. Graphene is like this, except that the normal, flat sheet, structure of graphite has been rolled up into balls.

    Regarding the Lance Winslow article, I'm afraid he seemed to me to be talking out of his arse. There was no explanation that I could see of HOW fractal geometry would be applied - it seemed to be just a hand-waving speculation. He writes rather like a conman seeking funding for some scam or other. I hope I'm wrong but I confess I was not impressed. Does this guy have any form as a serious commentator?
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Just probing now, but I believe you may ascribe more complexity to a "fractal" than the actual definition. We are kind of fooled by the incredible pictures of the Mandelbrot set
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal

    and as I understand it, fractals are formed from extremely simple geometric instructions which allow (create) extremely complex systems. The Koch Curve (below) is a set used to measure extremely irregular shapes with great precision, such as coast lines and mountainous landscapes.
    http://library.thinkquest.org/3493/frames/fractal.html

    The very simplicity of a fractal spurred the development of the hypothesis of CDT (Causal Dynamic Triangulation) by Renate Loll (et al) to explain the fundamental simplicity of the structure of the Universe itself and explain Quantum Gravity. Theoretically fractals can be reduced to Planck scale. Moreover, as fractals are non perturbative they do not conflict with either GR and QM.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_dynamical_triangulation
     
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes but the pattern of fused hexagons in graphite and graphene is not "the same at every scale", as a fractal pattern is. It's just a simple pattern of hexagons, at the atomic scale (C-C distance ~0.14 nm) only.
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Forgive me for being so persistent, but I am trying to understand what constitutes a fractal and when something is not (or no longer) a fractal or fractal based.
    I may be misunderstanding the principles, but this link may clarify my assumption of fractality in graphene.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q...=graphene fractals structure&sc=0-0&sp=-1&sk=

    I really appreciate your patience, but in today's science fractals are becoming a large, if not a fundamental part of the universe . Thus my deep (albeit lay) interest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014

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