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I'm not an expert teacher or lecturer of chemistry. I was only a student from SMA NEGERI 15 SURABAYA who had been one of the Bronze Medalist Participants of Olimpiade Sains Nasional X (2011) of Chemistry In Manado, North Sulawesi, 11 - 16 September 2011 and graduated in 2012. Now, I'm studying at Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya, Indonesia. I do love chemistry and I would like to help them who had difficulties in studying chemistry. That's why, please understand me if you found some misconcepts in my entries. Suggestions are always necessary in order to develop this blog. And I'm sorry because my English isn't so well.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Application of Chemistry in Magic


Chemistry is around us. Yes it's true.
Remember what you touch, what you feel, and what you see. It's chemistry!

The video above shows one application of chemistry: Magic!
Many magics involve chemistry in it. Because I'm not a magician, I'll tell you the secret of that video above: Alcohol and water.

Alcohol (My partner and I used Ethanol in that video) and water will mix and form a miscible mixture so that we won't see the differences between true water and alcohol-water solution. But don't mix them without any calculation. I tell you why:

Alcohol is flammable while water is inflammable so the important concept you must remember in this problem is: the composition. If you make a bigger percentage of alcohol (ex: 9:1) and you try to burn your desk, I can guarantee that your desk will be burned completely. Otherwise, if you make a smaller percentage of alcohol (ex: 1:9) and you try to burn your self, I can guarantee that you won't ever be burned.

I mix alcohol and water with the composition of 6:4 (you can use 5:5 or 7:3, just try it by yourself) in this experiment and I pour 500 mL of this solution on the floor. I burn it and try to walk on this burned solution. Did I feel anything? No I didn't. I just feel a little hot air in my face but I wasn't burn at all.

Here's the explanation. When the solution is burned. Alcohol is the only compound that is burned here. Water just absorb its heat but don't make it boil because the heat absorbed don't raise the temperature of water itself until 100 oC, maybe about 60 - 75 oC. That's why when you touch the floor after it's "burned" you'll make a conclusion that the floor is just a little warm.

But don't ever try to burn your self without any protection!
When you burn it, the temperature of the system will be about 200 oC, just don't ever try at home, okay?

Thank You

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