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Chemistry Magic Show

By Reece Hester

The Chemistry Magic Show, hosted by Dr. Jemima Ingle, associate professor of chemistry, and some of her chemistry students presented a magic show on the Hardin-Simmons University campus while demonstrating chemistry-related knowledge and wonders.

The show began with balloons filled with hydrogen and helium. Excited children laughed as each balloon popped, gradually getting louder and louder. The hydrogen balloon was held to a flame and popped while creating a wondrous dancing flame.

A gummy bear was dropped into a test tube filled with potassium. Dr. Ingle exclaimed “Gummy Bear Sacrifice,” as she dropped the gelatin bruin into the test tube. Reacting, the gummy bear jumped up and down when making contact with the potassium. Eventually, it settled to the bottom, but not before launching the gummy’s head across the table.

Oscillating plagues was a fascinating site, as a great competition unfolded between two students to build the tallest crystal tower. Liquid nitrogen was presented and transformed the most edible of objects into tools. A banana and pumpkin were frozen solid and used to hammer some nails. Tasty dragon breath treats were created using liquid nitrogen, oreos, Rice Krispies and ice cream.

Those who enjoyed the snacks discovered that clouds of white would flow out of their mouths, presenting the appearance of a dragon ready to unleash its fiery breath. Dry ice was dropped in beakers, changing rapidly into the many colors of the rainbow and bubbling with steam. Jack O' lanterns were laid out, each filled with a concoction that would lead to each barfing out colors of elephant toothpaste, bringing out giggles of laughter from the many small children. Dr. Molinium appeared as a small stuffed animal mole with a lab coat, volunteering to be set ablaze once again, demonstrating that fantastic combination of water and alcohol. Dr. Molinium bravely stood as a fiery ball but yet did not burn.

Dr. Ingle has many more plans for magic tricks for future shows, including a new tasty treat, where you drip ice cream into liquid nitrate, creating tiny spheres of deliciousness. Liquid oxygen is another fascinating experiment demonstrating the unique properties of the gas we often do not get to see. Make sure to come to the next Chemistry Magic Show scheduled every October during National Chemistry Week and Mole Day.


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