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Chemistry Spectacular

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Julian O'Loughlin

on 2 November 2016

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Transcript of Chemistry Spectacular

4.5 Billion Years ago
1905 - Toothpaste
Adding fluoride ions to water and toothpaste is considered one of the 20th century's greatest medical innovations
Early toothpaste used hydrogen peroxide which we can see decompose to oxygen and water:
2H O O + 2H O
We call it:
Elephant's toothpaste!
1605 - Fireworks
Guy Fawkes and others were caught trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament. We now commemorate this with Bonfire Night!
For the Chemist, the challenge is getting the colours right - here
copper makes a green/blue flame
strontium gives a red flame
Flame Test Inferno!
1669 - Phosphorus
The source of the phosphorus was stale, rotten urine!
P + 5O P O
Hennig Brand discovers Phosphorus (the name means 'bringing light')
10,000 BC - Alcohol
Fermentation of sugar to make alcohol has been happening since Neolithic times
Stronger drinks require distillation to increase the alcohol concentration, when the drink becomes flammable
C H OH + 3O 2CO + 3H O
We call it:

The Whoosh Bottle
3.4 billion years ago - Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a solid at temperatures below -78 degrees C ; known as '
Dry Ice
Unlike most substances, when you heat it up it skips being a liquid and changes straight into a gas!
Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing
Global Warming
Climate Change
3.4 billion years ago - Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a very unreactive substance - much of it is still in our atmosphere today!
Liquid Nitrogen at a cool -196 degrees C is used to freeze food very fast and can be used to make ice-cream
Nitrogen's formula is N
4.5 billion years ago - Hydrogen
Our sun was created 4.5 billion years ago - and it will keep burning for about another 5 billion years
The main chemical in the sun is the first element on the periodic table - hydrogen
Hydrogen's name means 'water forming' as when it burns it produces pure water.
1915 - Thermit
Used as a way of making molten iron in remote locations to weld railway lines
The temperature reached in the experiment is over 2,500 degrees C;
It takes hours to cool down.
2Al + Fe O Al O + 2Fe
1940 - Guncotton
One of the key explosives used in WWII was made from cotton wool, nitric acid and sulphuric acid.
It just needs a little heat to make it rapidly decompose...
3 November 2016
Chemistry since the dawn of time
2012 - Hydrogen powered cars
With petrol prices rocketing and a need to drive down emissions of carbon dioxide - will this be the future of cars?
Hydrogen and oxygen can be created by passing electricity through water - and energy is released when they are burnt
1900 - Sterno-inferno
The S. Sternau & Co in new York develop a can of combustible paste popularly known as a Sterno-Inferno
The gel is a mixture of calcium acetate and alcohols and can be coloured with the addition of metal salts
Thank you for coming -
We hope you enjoyed the show!
With thanks to:
Chemistry Department Technicians
Dr Julian O'Loughlin
Dr Caroline Evans
Now an experiment for you
Supersaturated solution of sodium ethanoate and a steel disc
By clicking the disc, you create
sites, and this triggers complete crystallisation - with the production of
Don't forget to take home the instructions!
Welcome to the 15th Annual
2050 - Police armed with
Glass tube of nitrous oxide (N O) and carbon disulfide (CS )
Combustion of these gases accelerates down the tube giving off a luminous blue flame
8N O + 4CS 8N + 4CO + S
We call it:

The barking dog
Full transcript