Incredible Chemical Reaction GIFs Explained

1) Disintegration (Mercury Reacts with Aluminum)

When aluminum rusts, it creates a protective oxide layer that prevents the aluminum atoms underneath from further rusting. That is, until mercury is applied. Mercury prevents an oxide layer from forming, making the rust reaction continue uncontrollably. The process isn’t as fast as what’s depicted in the GIF though; it actually took two hours to rust through the aluminum beam above. What isn’t depicted in the GIF is the sluffed off rust that formed a pile at the base of the aluminum beam as the reaction progressed.

2) Pharaoh’s Serpent (Mercury (II) Thiocyanate Reacts with Oxygen)

The reaction depicted above, nicknamed the “Pharoah’s Serpent,” actually use to be a common classroom demonstration. It also use to be sold in stores as fireworks until people realized it’s actually fairly toxic. As its name hints, it contains very poisonous mercury. Mercury (II) thiocyanate exists as a white solid that when heated, expands to become a brown solid due to its decomposition to carbon nitride. Sulfur dioxide and mercury (II) sulfide are also produced. Nowadays, if you want a similar effect but don’t want to risk touching mercury, you can try making a “Black Snake” by heating a mixture of sugar and baking soda in a beaker.

(Read more)

2 days ago 197 notes


Crafting Cartonería

I get it, teachers are short on time. So I’m working on resources that cut to the chase. I whipped up this gif on how to make sculptures with a shoestring budget, inspired by the Mexican handcraft Cartonería.

It’s all there in the gif, but if you’re the type that likes the details, you can see more here.

Papier-mâché projects often get a bad rap for being the stuff of kindergarten craft time, but the process of paper-crafting is rich with history. Cartonería, as papier-mâché is called in Mexico, has long been a traditional handcraft. The Mexican papermaking process dates back to the Mesoamerican period, was temporarily banned by the Spanish, and paper sculptures are still made to this day to tell the story of yearly celebrations.

What else?
Making Cartonería has the obvious connection to history and social studies. Cartonería also serves as an excellent project to talk about life sciences and geometry. More on curriculum connectors here.

8 months ago 177 notes


Three-Dimensional Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation

Tech demo of setup able to levitate, control and maneuver small light objects in a 3D space using ultrasound waves, defying gravity.The essence of levitation technology is the countervailing of gravity. It is known that an ultrasound standing wave is capable of suspending small particles at its sound pressure nodes and, so far, this method has been used to levitate lightweight particles, small creatures, and water droplets. More Here

8 months ago 3,815 notes

DIY Delivers: Pizza Vision - A Slice of the Internet

Hi all, Diana Wattanapongsakorn here. You might recognize my name from the weekly e-mail newsletters you get from DIY - I’m the Community Manager and am excited to launch a web series called “Pizza Vision: A Slice of the Internet”. I’ll be delivering you a handful of some of my favorite clips, GIFS, and memes from the internet. Enjoy!

1 year ago 9 notes