Tuesday, May 17, 2011


14. Name the following compounds:
a. BaO2 - Barium Peroxide
b. NaH - Sodium Hydride
c. Fe(NO2)3 - Iron III Nitrite
d. CCl4 - Carbon Tetrachloride
e. HClO2 - Chlorous acid
f. Cu(OH)2 - Copper II Hydroxide
g. ZnMnO4 - Zinc Permanganate(?)
h. NH4Cl - Ammonium Chloride

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chernobyl and Japan

The Chernobyl accident occurred in Ukraine during 1986. A faulty reactor design caused the destruction of the Chernobyl 4 reaction. 2 workers died on the night of the incident, and in the following months an additional 28 workers would die as well. Acute radiation symptom (ARS) was diagnosed in over a hundred people, with several dozen dying because of the radiation. Thyroid cancer was diagnosed in more children, due to an intake of radioactive iodine fallout.

The RBMK 1000 was designed by the Soviets sing slightly enriched (2% U-235) uranium dioxide fuel. Just before a regular shutdown, the reactor crew at Chernobyl began preparing for a test to see how long the turbines would spin after a loss of main electrical supply. This test was performed the previous year, but the power from the turbine stopped too rapidly, so new voltage regulator designs were going to be tested.

When the operator went to shut down the reactor, it was in an unstable condition. The control rods used a dramatic power surge when they were inserted into the reactor. The meeting of hot fuel and cool water led to an increase in pressure. Intense steam spread throughout the core causing an explosion that released nuclear fission into the atmosphere.

About 5 million people lived in areas contaminated by Chernobyl, with 45,000 people leaving the town of Pripyat. In the years to follow, 222,000 people moved into less contaminated areas. About 1,000 people returned unofficially to live in the contaminated zone.

By the year 2000, about 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer was diagnosed in children that had been exposed. Besides the thyroid cancer increase, there isn’t any evidence of any major public health impact from Chernobyl 14 years later.

During the early 1990’s, the US spend about $400 million on making the remaining reactors at Chernobyl safer. Close to 6,000 people worked at Chernobyl daily, until the last reactor was closed in 2000. Chernobyl 4 is now enclosed in a concrete shelter, with a new confinement structure currently being built.

Although there are similarities between Chernobyl and what has happened in Japan, the differences between them are clear. Chernobyl was a 3,000MW reactor while the reactors in Japan are only 500MW. In Chernobyl, an explosion occurred in a critical part of the reactor. The damage to the core in the reactor in Japan was minimal, for most of the reactors in Japan damage was only done to the protective layering.

I do not think we have to worry too much about Japan’s reactor. Technology has advance much further since the Chernobyl incident. I believe that scientist should work hard (once again) to revamp the design to current and future reactors.


"Chernobyl Accident." World Nuclear. World Nuclear Association. Web. 1 Apr. 2011.

"Chernobyl: 25 Years After the Nuclear Disaster." Huffington Post. 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2011. .

Barry, Ellen. "Lessons Learned From Chernobyl For Japan." The New York Times. 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2011. .

Matthews, Owen. "Why Japan's Nuclear Meltdown Is No Chernobyl." Yahoo! News. 14 Mar. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2011. .


Sites Listed Above


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Digesting Chemistry

What exactly do we put into our mouths, day after day? Just check this list below to find out what we digest every day!
  1. Tropicana Orange Juice: Calcium Hydroxide - CaOH
  2. Minute Maid One Hundred Percent Juice Fruit Punch: Potassium Phosphate - K3PO4
  3. Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn: Calcium Phosphate - Ca3(PO4)2
  4. Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn: Potassium Chloride - KCl
  5. ProPlan Small Dog Biscuit: Zinc Sulfate - ZnSO4
  6. Premium Saltine Crackers: Calcium Carbonate - Ca2CO3
  7. Premium Saltine Crackers: Potassium Carbonate - K2CO3
  8. Crest Whitening Dental Wraps: Hydrogen Peroxide - H2O2
  9. Crest Whitening Toothpaste: Sodium Fluoride - NaF
  10. Clabber Girl Baking Powder: Sodium Aluminum Sulfate - NaAl(SO4)2
  11. Safeway Disinfecting Wipes: Ammonium Chloride - NHCl4
  12. Medical Scrub: Ammonium Sulfate - (NH)2SO4
  13. Kraft Marcaroni and Cheese Dinner: Sodium Phosphate - Na3PO4
  14. Crystal Light Iced Tea Mix: Magnesium Oxide - MgO
  15. Coca Cola: Phosphoric Acid - H3PO4
  16. Advil: Potassium - K
  17. Kraft Easy Mac original: Potassium Chloride - KCl
  18. Walgreens Brand Epsom Salt: Magnesium Sulfate - MgSO4
  19. Salt: Sodium Chlorite - NaCl
  20. Benadryl: Zinc Acetate - Zn(C2H3O2)2
There you have it, folks! A brief run through!

Friday, November 12, 2010

#23 on Exam Review Packet

Explain the difference between Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales. Give examples of the conversions, and explain how you would know whether a given temperature could exist or not.

The Celsius temperature scale is based off of the freezing point of water (0*). Kelvin is based off of absolute zero, or the lowest temperature that is attainable. To convert from Celsius to Kelvin, you add 273.15. Kelvin does not use a degree sign.

Freezing Point of Water: 0*C or 273.15
Boiling Point of Water: 100*C or 373.15

It is easy to tell wether or not a temperature can exist. If it falls below 0 on the Kelvin scale, it can not be possible! This is because 0 is the lowest temperature attainable. So if it falls below -273.15*C, it doesn't exist!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chapter 4

I researched the discovery of the neutron!
Please check out my Prezi!
While you're at it, look at this YouTube video.

Works Cited:
"Chadwick's Experiment to Discover the Neutrons." Major and Minor Worlds. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.

"James Chadwick." The History of Computing Project. N.p., 21 Mar. 2010. Web. 3
Oct. 2010. .

Trinh, Hoc. "James Chadwick and His Discovery of the Neutron." Helium. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.

"James Chadwick - Biography". Nobelprize.org. 8 Oct 2010

Crowell, Benjamin. "The Discovery of the Neutron." Lectures in Physics. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2006. .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chapter 2

I am slightly Mysophobic, aka. Germaphobic. So I thought it was fitting that my first Chemistry blog post would be about the physical and chemical properties of Purell hand sanitizer.
Tada! The magical substance that kills germs!

Physical Properties
  • At room temperature, the hand sanitizer is a liquid.
  • It has a high viscosity- meaning that it is a “thick” liquid (water is a "thin" liquid because it can move very fast).
  • Purell Hand Sanitizer is transparent in color.
  • Has a smell like alcohol, because alcohol is one of the main ingredients.
  • Alcohol freezes at -144* Celsius (compared to the 0* Celsius of water).
Although it is a liquid, it is thick enough that it doesn't always take the shape of it's container. You can see that it has a transparent color because the plate is blue, and the liquid looks blue too.

See how high the viscosity is? It takes forever for the hand sanitizer to move a little!

Chemical Properties
  • When I added water with the hand sanitizer, it looks like nothing happens. After a little while, the hand sanitizer will start breaking up and dissolving. This is because hand sanitizer is a liquid, not a solid.
  • When I soaked a penny in hand sanitizer after a period, the penny became cleaner and shiner. The amount of alcohol in the hand sanitizer must be high enough to get rid of dirt and grime. An effective way to clean coins!
  • Reading the drug facts on the back of the hand sanitizer, it warns that it is flammable. I was able to find an interesting video of a group of students lighting hand sanitizer.
(That I am not in.)
  • It is NOT sensitive to light. I have had hand sanitizer sitting on the kitchen island for months, and it has not changed color.
Day One:
Day Two:
  • It is extremely toxic (an experiment was not done for this one!) Due to the high alcohol levels in hand sanitizer (~60%), congesting it can be fatal to young children and pets and cause others to become drunk.
It seems that, although hand sanitizer can be very useful it can also be dangerous (flammable, toxic, etc.). I think that this product should not be used with small children, or before meals because of the alcohol levels contained.