“When I have a bad day, I can do science.”

Thus quoth Benji, who has never tried to titrate by hand.

However, it was really true that despite his having a cold, we went and did science and he seemed happier than most of the previous 48 hours.

Our adventure started in Teresa’s lab, where she used her access to strong acids, hit plates, a fume hood, and a centrifuge to good effect.

Dissolving a copper penny in acid.
6 M acid is too slow, let’s use undiluted acid.
Add a base and get a pretty blue precipitate.
Heat it up to obtain a lovely brown sludge.
Add…I think it was one more acid, but I’m not sure, and you get transparent blue liquid again! Chemistry is magic!
What the heck, let’s centrifuge some of the leftover precipitate.
Don’t break this.
Spinning at 4000 gravities.
Separated!

As an added bonus, we made rocket fuel using melted potassium perchlorate and a Skittle.

Dang, those Skittles really burn!

After we finished having all that fun, we went and Benji was a test subject at the iLab doing some brain science. Continue Reading >>