You don’t need to watch Breaking Bad to know that chemistry is pretty awesome. Below we explore our favorite 15 chemistry GIFs and the science behind them (when we could figure it out). [GIFs via Chemical Reaction GIFs, 4GIFs, and GIFSoup.]
Melting Metal With Magnets
The Science: The copper wire has a significant amount of AC electricity running through it, causing it to act like a really strong electromagnet. In the metal slug, eddy currents form due to the magnetic field the copper wire is causing while the copper wire has high frequency AC flowing through it. The metal slug’s electric resistance causes a portion of the electric energy to turn into heat, but the heat builds up until the metal slug becomes white hot and melts.
Orange LED Light In Liquid Nitrogen
The Science: When an LED is immersed in liquid nitrogen, the electrons lose a lot of thermal energy, even when the light isn’t turned on. When this happens, the bandgap in the semiconductors increases. Since this gap is increased, when electrons in the conduction band fall to the valence band, they emit a higher energy light, meaning the light emitted has a shorter wavelength and a higher frequency. This is why we see the orange light turn into colours that are higher on the electromagnetic spectrum when it is frozen in the liquid nitrogen.
Heating Mercury Thiocyanate
Hydrogen Peroxide Catalyzed by Potassium Iodide