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Tom Kuntzleman's blog

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When the Ideal Gas Law Fails

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 15:45 -- Tom Kuntzleman
bucket launch

When liquid nitrogen is placed in a sealed container, the pressure of the container increases until the container explodes. The energy released in the explosion can be used to launch a bucket high into the air. Analyzing the experiment using the ideal gas law gives results that are inconsistent with observations. Use of the van der Waals equation yields reasonable results.

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Solution to Chemical Mystery #3: The Sour Side of Chemistry!

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 15:17 -- Tom Kuntzleman

Congratulations to Grazyna Zreda who solved the Chemical Mystery of the Mentos candies! To conduct this trick, two white Mentos candies are placed in separate beakers that both contain universal indicator. One of the Mentos candies turns the indicator slightly green, indicating the presence of base.

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