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No chemistry class is complete without the spectacular demonstration of alkali metals reacting with water. The Sodium Spectrum is a novel variation that is much safer to perform than the standard sodium demonstration of simply dropping a small piece of alkali metal into a beaker of water. It also demonstrates the colorful spectrum of colors possible with acid–base indicators. In the Teaching Chemistry video, John Little used long glass stirring rods (one for each cylinder) after adding indicator (before adding mineral oil) and again after sodium reacts creating color change.

Concepts

  • Density
  • Acids & Bases
  • Indicators
  • pH