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A giant silver mirror experiment

Description

Demonstrating the Tollens' test a solution of silver nitrate which can react with aldehydes or reducing sugars to form silver. The silver deposit forms a mirror-like coating on the inside of the reaction vessel.

Type of Activity

:
demonstration

Audience

:
Teacher

Age Group

:
11 to 18 years

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
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Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection for the teacher

Round- or flat-bottomed flask, 1 dm3 (Note 1)

Rubber stopper, to fit flask

Beaker (250 cm3)

Measuring cylinders (25, 100 and 250 cm3)

Dropping pipette

Glass rod

Access to a fume cupboard (for handling '880' ammonia solution)

The quantities listed below are sufficient for three demonstrations:

Silver nitrate (CORROSIVE, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), 8.5 g

Potassium hydroxide (CORROSIVE), 11.2 g

Glucose (dextrose), 2.2 g

'880' Ammonia solution (35% w/v) (CORROSIVE, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), 30 cm3

Concentrated nitric(V) acid (OXIDISING, CORROSIVE), 100 cm3

Purified (distilled or deionised) water, 800 cm3

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 




September 2014




Page last updated October 2015

Demonstrating the Tollens' test a solution of silver nitrate which can react with aldehydes or reducing sugars to form silver. The silver deposit forms a mirror-like coating on the inside of the reaction vessel.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.