Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Splitting Molecules

Today the boys and I stripped.

We were stripping insulation off of copper wires. Then we taped the exposed wired ends to battery terminals. The other exposed wire ends they submerged into water that had baking soda.

The wires bubbled. One wire turned green. The water became blue-green. They wrote in their Science Log what they did, what they say and their Hypothesis. The figured the flow of electricity caused the bubbling and that only one wire turned green because it was on the positive and the other one was on the negative Terminal.

Then we talked about what was really going on in the water. Copper is an atom. We can see the copper wire, even though we can’t see individual atoms, because it is billions of atoms all together. The water is a molecule. 2 different atom types stuck together (H2O) . The electricity traveled though the copper into the water and separated the Hydrogen and Oxygen- which are both gases . So that was the bubbling we observed. The copper combined with the hydrogen, oxygen and carbon (from the baking soda molecule) to form a new molecule. Copper Hydroxycarbonate. The they changed molecules into atoms and atoms into new molecules.

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