Help your students visualize the length of a single molecule. First, the surface of water is dusted with lycopodium powder, then a drop of oleic acid solution is placed directly in the center. The oleic acid will spread out in a circle, displacing the lycopodium powder so that it forms a ring that is visible to the eye. By simply measuring the size of the circle formed by the oleic acid with a ruler, you can calculate the length of a single oleic acid molecule. Teacher Demonstration Notes, including step-by-step instructions for the calculation with sample data, are included. Enough materials are provided to perform the demonstration seven times.
Concepts: Langmuir method, micelle formation, physical properties.
Time Required: 15 minutes
Chemicals Provided: Ethyl alcohol solution, lycopodium powder, and oleic acid.
Additional ResourcesNo Additional Resources at the time.
Flinn Catalog/Reference Manual Page 357
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