Monday, August 20, 2012

Fuzzy Science

What do you get when you mix, 
drops of brightly colored paint + a blob of baking soda + a squirt of vinegar  + a dash of inquisitive Little Mister?
Answer: A Really Cool Fuzzy Science Experiment!
We enjoyed it so much, we tried the "In-A-Bag" version!

Simple Explanation:
When baking soda and vinegar mix, it creates a chemical reaction. Gas is released which we see as bubbles.

What's really happening:
It is deceptively simple: what appears to be one reaction is actually two, happening in quick succession. This reaction is an example of a multistep reaction.
What actually happens is this: the acetic acid (that's what makes vinegar sour) reacts with sodium bicarbonate (a compound that's in baking soda) to form carbonic acid. It's really a double-replacement reaction. Carbonic acid is unstable, and it immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water (it's a decomposition reaction). The bubbles you see from the reaction come from the carbon dioxide escaping the solution that is left. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so, it flows almost like water when it overflows the container. It is a gas that you exhale (though in small amounts), because it is a product of the reactions that keep your body going. What's left is a dilute solution of sodium acetate in water.

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