Every year our department hosts a “Chemistry Magic Show,” in an effort to boost enrolment in the four-year science program. Largely run by undergraduate chemistry majors, the show is a series of demonstrations ranging from the colourful to the pyrophoric.  Sneakily, there’s a lot of basic chemistry information between the explosions, making it educational as well as entertaining.

Thanks to a link from Cheersical Education I recently discovered NurdRage, who has created a little over a hundred demonstrations of chemistry magic.  In keeping with the theme of this blog I’ll highlight the videos which focus on procedures and techniques.


Lab Equipment: Glass Ampuoles

How to make a Dessicator Bag for Drying Chemicals

How to Purify by Recrystallization (~10g scale)


A few videos create valuable (and hazardous) reagents:

Make Potassium Metal

How to Coalesce Potassium

Make Hydrazine Sulfate by the Hypochlorite-Ketazine Process

Make Hydrochloric Acid (sodium chloride/bisulfite process) [1]

And for fun:

Make Elephant Toothpaste


Alright, that’s a wrap.  Now, if anyone needs me I’ll be playing with my 100 foot glowstick.


[1] There are a lot of different ways to make anhydrous HCl.  If your solvent is protic slowly adding AcCl with ice cooling is usually the easiest way to go.