Sharing chemistry with the community: The chemistry of color

The “Chemistry of Color” was the American Chemical Society (ACS)’s theme for the 2015 National Chemistry Week. Presentations were staged across the US. The local section of the ACS joined forces with the Nasher Museum of Art (Duke) to put on a chemistry event for more than 600 attendees. Representatives from industry and academia, including Duke Chemistry Outreach, oversaw a variety of activities that addressed this theme. It was a massive undertaking to have both a chemical stage show and a hands-on activity room, all involving color.

We had a variety of colorful demonstrations, many of which have been featured in Chem 13 News. These demonstrations mentioned in past issues will be posted online at the Chem 13 News website, under supplemental materials for the March 2016 issue. In this issue we will discuss the Chemical Rainbow. The Landolt Iodine Clock Reaction and UNC Blue to Duke Blue demonstrations will be presented in upcoming issues.

Palm tree, boat and water tinted orange.

Chemical Sunset, February 2016, page 14 – 15.

A woman standing next to a table with four out of five graduated cylinders fuming.

Megan Roppolo presenting dry ice with different indicators. This demonstration was featured as a Flinn Fax in the February 2016 issue, page 6.

A woman shows a beaker with dark blue/black solution.

Landolt Iodine Clock Reaction (upcoming April 2016 issue).

A woman pouring a solution from a beaker to a round bottom flask.

Changing blue (upcoming May 2016 issue).

A child using a pipette.

Calcium alginate pearls with food coloring. October 2015 issue, page 13, activity 6.

A child with goggles and bowls.

Ink pen chromatography using several brands of black soluble markers and round filter paper.

Two with chemicals on a table.

Dry ice with different acid-base indicators. See February 2016 issue, Flinn Fax, page 6.

A child playing with paint.

Designs in milk with food coloring and soap on a Q-tip. December 2014/ January 2015 issue, page 32.