Send us your questions

Some of our visitors have sent emails with interesting questions, we decided to start having a space to answer them. In this space the blog "Restless Minds" will answer all questions you send us
Send us your question for the email: Restless Minds.

Science progress affects our daily life and "to know" means you are going to chose right, because it allows you to form your own opinion on scientific everyday issues. On the other hand, having an elegant and harmonious vision of the world where we live in leads to a feeling of intellectual satisfaction.
We believe this kind of scientific day to day knowledge should be encouraged from an early age, and that's why this project was born: science, culture, knowledge, crafts for your restless mind.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black hole magic

Today we are going to do some magic!
Your restless will be amazed!

What we need:
  • chose a easy cleaning surface, as always, to avoid problems,
  • rubber gloves,
  • metal can, any size will do
  • Styrofoam, like the ones in the images.

How to:
  1. Put your gloves on;
  2. Make a large pile of Styrofoam;
  3. Pour the acetone in the can, about 1 in high;
  4. Ask your restless to set aside the quantity of Styrofoam he/she thinks to fill the can;
  5. Drop the pieces into the can one by one;
  6. Keep dropping;
  7. The pile is finish? Grab some Styrofoam from the big pile and keep dropping;
  8. If everything goes as planed the big pile will disappear before your eyes into the can, like it was a "black hole" that grabs everything around it.
Styrofoam vanish in the can!

The actors:
The acetone is an organic compound (CH3)2CO, is a highly flammable liquid with a high level of solvency. A lot of compounds dissolve on acetone, like nail polish.
Styrofoam is made of polystyrene. Manufactures use a blown agent that helps to transform the polystyrene in Styrofoam, the product this procedure originate is a highly porous and rigid polymer, with high percentage of air, trapped on porous

What happened?
In fact what happen is very easy to explain. Styrofoam is a polymer, made of several chemical units linked (like all polymers), acetone works on this links breaking them. Once the Styrofoam is made by thousands of air bubbles, all that remains at the end of the chemical reaction is: air.
Styrofoam is a very light material and with a lot of air inside, that makes it perfect o disappear with a small quantity of acetone.

After all where did the Styrofoam go?
When Styrofoam dissolves in acetone it doesn't disappear. Don’t forget  the statement "In nature, nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed". Polystyrene molecules continue in solution. Styrofoam solubility is very important when comes to recycling. Polystyrene in acetone solution can be extracted and used to make new materials avoiding its accumulation in sanitary landfills.

Kids must be kept away from acetone,
Use other acetone then the nail polish remover for better results.
Verify if what you are using is really Styrofoam and isn't other similar biodegradable product

Et voilá!
It's a kind of magic!
Tcham tcham!


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...