Basic Chemistry

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Basic Chemistry

Post by pwnell »

I was spending some quality time with my daughter the past couple of days, and one of the things we got her for a present was a chemistry set.

Needless to say, for a left brained nut like me I am enjoying this tremendously - maybe even more than her. One of the simple experiments is to create pure (well, close to) Carbon by burning sugar (chemical symbol C12H22O11) hence burning off the water content and leaving C.

Normally that would be a "ok, that was nice, lets move on" moment. Instead, I took the spoon with carbon and placed it under my microscope under a 10x objective and had her find a good composition. An 82 image stack using ZereneStacker yielded this:


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Post by Mitch640 »

Interesting. Now, if you could only make diamonds from the carbon. :)

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Post by ChrisR »

.... or even Buckyballs 8)

A major product of combustion will be CO2 (Carbon dioxide), and at low temperatures quite a lot of CO (Carbon monoxide) as well.
If it had been hot enough, there wouldn't be any CO, or carbon.
This is incomplete combustion in vitiating conditions.
You've also contributed to Global Warming in your CO2 production, but you've only put back what the plant took out..
Last edited by ChrisR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by rjlittlefield »

I like this image. It does a great job of capturing the variety of product that come from such a "simple" process as heating sugar. Besides, it just plain looks good.

About the product, I'm reminded of a long discussion that I once had with a chemist while we were checking questions & answers to be used for a high school science competition. The question asked what is left behind when you remove the water from sucrose by dehydrating it with concentrated sulfuric acid. Of course the expected answer is "carbon", as you can easily find in every beginning chemistry textbook. But my chemist friend is even more obsessive about details than I am, and he went a bit ballistic about the simplistic answer versus the actual complexity of the reaction.

If I recall correctly, we finally decided to accept both "carbon" and "black gunk". :roll: :)


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