A magical mixing tour!

Yasmin Jayathirtha

Did you get a chance to put on a magic show in your school? (In the January 2014 issue of Teacher Plus, through this column I had shared with you a few magic tricks you can perform using your knowledge of chemistry.) What reaction did you get from your spectators? I hope both you and they enjoyed the show. Let me show you a couple more tricks that you can perform the next time.

These two acts use various chemical reactions to produce colour changes. The ‘patter’ has to be more sophisticated, and one can challenge the older students to explain what’s happening. The reactions involved include anion/cation tests, oxidation-reduction reactions and complexation reactions.

Changing wine into other beverages!
Materials:

  • Wine— dissolve 0.4g potassium permanganate in 100 cm3 of 2 mol/dm-3 sulfuric acid and make up to 1dm3 with distilled water.
  • Barium chloride (24g in 100 cm3 distilled water)
  • Sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate (25g in 100 cm3 distilled water)
  • Sodium carbonate (21g in 100 cm3 distilled water)
  • One empty wine bottle
  • Five glasses

The experiment can be done with beakers and flasks, but the bottle and glasses make it more authentic. Also, glasses are thick-bottomed and that will help conceal the solutions already present in them. Line up the glasses and add solutions before the show, as follows:

The author works with Centre for Learning, Bengaluru. She can be reached at yasmin.cfl@gmail.com.

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