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27 January 2005 @ 04:47 pm
Alchemy and chemistry  
A few people have asked me for this, so I thought I should post it here as well. :3 It's a copy of an alchemy experiment I did in my high school chemistry class last semester.

*digs through a crapload of old chem notes from last term* Ahh, here we go. ^__^ This shows you how to turn a penny gold, enjoy~ (Note: It's not real gold, it's just a brass alloy that resembles it)

Materials: Forceps, a couple a pennies (other coins won't work), zinc powder, sodium hydroxide (NaOH), bunsen burner, ceramic evaporating dish (the one we used held approximately 45 mL, I'm guessing >_>), 10 mL graduated cylinder, flint striker, paper towel, goggles, and a ring stand and clamp

Procedure: Place about 5 grams of zinc powder in the evaporating dish. Add enough NaOH to cover the zinc powder and fill the dish one-third full. (it was about 15 mL when we did it) Attach ring to stand with clamp and set dish in it, place bunsen burner directly beneath the dish, and start it with the flint striker.

Heat to near boiling point, but be careful not to let it burn you. You also want to keep a good distance and be careful not to let the vapors get near you or breathe them in - it's a very strong base and could cause serious skin and lung damage. o-o; Not fun.

Place a clean penny into the solution (you can only do one at a time) with a pair of forceps. Allow the penny to soak in the solution for 3-4 minutes. Be sure that the solution covers the penny. Remove it after the time has passed, rinse it with running water from a sink to remove excess solution, and blot it dry with a paper towel. The penny will be VERY HOT, so be careful. At this stage, it has turned a bright silver colour - you can leave it like that if you want, or if you want it to turn gold, follow the next steps.

Using the forceps, hold the penny in the bunsen burner flame for 5-10 seconds (but not too long, or it'll melt). Rinse penny again under running water, blot dry - again it'll be very hot, so be cautious - and voila!

You can use the same solution over again a few times with more pennies; my group made about 5 or 6 pennies and it worked fine. I would strongly reccomend *not* doing this at home; ask your high school or college professor if you can use the chemistry lab to do this sometime, or you could even show it to the class and convince them to make a project out of it. :3 Hope you enjoy.

If you do opt to perform this experiment at home (which you really, really shouldn't unless your dad is like Hoho-papa and has a lab in the house XD), I hold no responsibility for singed cats, burned drapery, rooms filled with toxic vapors, burns, disgruntled parents, or other misfortunes. >>;
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Oasis - Champange Supernova
ジェニイ 「Jenny」kirchu on January 27th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
*dies* I did this in Chemistry class and Chemistry club, lol. I do agree that it's better if you do it at school than home (unless your parents are chemistry engineers or something like that) since it's safer. :P Ah well, thanks for sharing! ^^

Love your icon! XD <3
UMEKO danced the CHANSEY Dance!umeko_pyon on January 27th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
:DD *parents are both chemists*
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
Lucky~ <3
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC)
Sure ^__^ Glad you like it
Jiah Pet: Just Add Water!jiah on January 27th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC)
If I were to do that, I'd probably draw a circle underneith the burner just for fun and after I was done I'd be like, "It had nothing to do with the chemicals!"
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
★☆ エリザベート ♕♬: FMA - ZOMG surprise buttseckskasaii on January 27th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
Nyeeheehee~ my Chemistry teacher from last year, Mr. Kott.. is really into anime and is the leader of our anime club. FMA was the first series we watched (the first 6 episodes or so.) I'm so tempted to be like "MR. KOTT, CAN WE PLEASE DO THIS AND PRETEND WE'RE ALCHEMISTS?!" He's my favorite teacher ever, I wish I could be back in Chemistry. Goddamn Physics..
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
Skip Physics and go back to his class then. XD Bleh Physics... I had to take that in freshman year and it sucked hard.

*molests your icon*
(Deleted comment)
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC)
Michigan classes blow wad; because of the higher standards here, they're pretty tough. >_> I've met kids who came here from California, complaining about how hard everything was. XD
Kasumiedw4rd_elric on January 27th, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC)
I did this before, but I had to borrow the chem lab at my school in 8th grade. XD I didn't use a penny, though. It was raw copper that was molded into a strip. o.o; I don't think it's a good idea to do at home, however. Thanks for the info, though. ^^;
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
Sure :)
iwishiwereanimeiwishiwereanime on January 27th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I did that last yeah in my Honors Chem class. Personally, I have more fun holding whatever various hard chemicals at hand over the Bunsen burner and watching it change awesome colors XD. But yeah.. man, everyone's school must be on the same schedule because my AP Bio teacher also teaches Chemistry and her classes are either doing that lab or about to do it..
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
I did it last semester, it was fun ^^ At the very end of the term our teacher basically let us all "go nuts" in the lab and play with a bunch of stuff. Dry ice making was fun, and we did this other thing where we used ammonium nitrate to melt lead and make a firework-type thing that spit out hot balls of flaming molten lead that burned holes in the floor. XD
Kalika Maxwellkalikamaxwell on January 27th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure in what section I could host that, but can I steal that for toukakoukan.com? It's wicked information. <3
swirling_chaos on January 27th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC)
Sure ^__^ I'd be honoured.
Kat~♪: FMA-Say Wha?some_kat on January 28th, 2005 09:49 am (UTC)
if only my highschool didn't suck ass while I was there. But our chemistry teacher did let us watch the Mad Max movies in class >.> <.
swirling_chaos on January 29th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
cutestlilhobbit on February 10th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)
You life saver you!!
OMGOSH!!! You so saved my science grade!!! We are doing this as a project in science and we had to do a paper on it and I left the book at school so I didn't know how to and your teh only one that did it the same way as me so you are a totaly cool dude adn you rock my socks!!!!!

Love ya,
swirling_chaos on February 10th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: You life saver you!!
:D 1337, glad I could help ^^