RSC - Advancing the Chemical Sciences



Demonstration Videos

The RSC commissioned a series of video demonstrations providing guidance for some fundamental, and some very exciting, reactions.

Accompanying notes from Classic Chemistry Demonstrations are provided for the demonstration videos. 

A Giant Silver Mirror

Post-16. Demonstrating the Tollens' test for aldehydes and reducing sugars


14-18 age group. This demonstration shows that the energy of a chemical reaction can be given out as light as well as heat

Cracking a Hydrocarbon

Pre-16. Petrochemicals/crude oil/industrial chemistry/hydrocarbons, alcohols

Electrolysis of Molten Lead Bromide

Pre-16. A demonstration to show the conduction of the molten electrolyte and that bromine is produced

Making silicon and silanes from sand

Pre or post-16. The reactions of group IV elements

Electrolysis of Molten Zinc Chloride

This demonstration shows that an ionic salt conducts electricity when molten but not when solid

Bubbles that float and sink

This demonstration touches on a number of areas of chemistry - density of gases, diffusion, solubility of gases, sublimation and combustion

A visible activated complex

A simple demonstration of catalysis also introducing the idea of an activated complex and to allow discussion of the mechanism of catalysis

'Magic' writing

This demonstration will probably be done for entertainment/general interest

Burning milk powder - the effect of surface area on reaction rate

Pre-16. Rates of reaction

Catalysts for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide

Pre-16. Reaction rates, catalysis, enzymes

Determination of relative molecular masses by weighing gases

Post-16. Gases, relative molecular masses

Reactions of the alkali metals

Pre-16. Group I metals (alkali metals), the Periodic Table

The fountain experiment

Gases - solubility and acidity/alkalinity

The methane rocket

Combustion, energy changes in reactions, balancing equations, Avogadro's law and general interest

The non-burning 5 note

Combustion, but this is essentially a 'fun' demonstration

The reduction of copper oxide

Pre-16. Formula determination, extraction of metals

Turning 'red wine' into 'water'

This is a fun demonstration suitable for an open day

Zinc-plating copper and the formation of brass - 'turning copper into 'silver' and 'gold''

Electrochemistry, electroplating, alloys