Tuesday, October 26, 2010

USA Science Festival by the numbers

At the Candy Experiments booth:
*pounds of baking soda used for the Sour Bubble (Acid) Test: 5
*bags of marshmallows emptied: 15
*gallons water used: 21 1/2
*number of grams of sugar in a bottle of orange soda: 71
*number of rolls of Smarties to equal 71 grams of sugar: 10
*number of us interviewed for Brazilian TV: 2
*number of volunteers swamped on Sunday, when we had to set up an extra mini-booth in the street: 7
*baby wipes passed out for cleaning hands: 1000
*number of children who visited the booth: uncountable!


2 comments:

  1. How about some redox rxns? Those vicinal diols make carbohydrates especially susceptible to oxid'n. There are recipes galore for using sugars and sugar alcohols (especially sorbitol) as rocket propellants with KNO3. Melting the sugar into caramel candy propellant is most effective, but also most dangerous, while simply milling the carbohydrate and KNO3 separately and then mixing them dry can produce effective and stable propellants that you can then shoot in fountains, wheels, or rockets. It's how you can prove there are calories in those candies.

    Or you could work in solution with KIO4 and titrate with a redox indicator. I think you could produce easily detectable changes in viscosity of sugar syrups with periodate.

    What I usually give out to trick-or-treaters is inedible: my non-irritating bath foam -- http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/lather.html . I guess that was bathroom, rather than kitchen, chemistry.

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