The Science of Awesome

In order to fulfill my core requirements I’m currently enrolled in Chem 105, Chemistry of Everyday Things.  This is a non-major lab science class, so it’s perfect for someone who, like me, has little to no background knowledge in science.  Over the course of this semester we’ve done a lot of really interesting and fun experiments.  We’ve made tie-dye shirts that won’t fade, we’ve mixed scents to come up with different fragrances (with admittedly mixed results as mine was voted to smell like awful death by the class), and we did a CSI investigation lab.

These were all really cool, but this past week we did my favorite by far.  To quote my friend and fellow blogger Elaine, it was definitely Highlight of My Week worthy. We were testing the pH of various household objects using only cabbage juice! First we put 11 buffer solutions with pH 2-12 in different test tubes, and then 5 household items in other test tubes. Then, after boiling the cabbage (the smell was really the only downside, but all magic comes with a price!), we put a little in each of the test tubes and watched the magic happen!

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Each of the liquids turned a different color based on their pH and we compared the unknowns to the buffers in order to determine their pH.  I loved the colors so much, it was like a rainbow.  One of the best parts was coming up with the descriptions of each color for our lab report.  We had everything from neon lilac to emerald mermaid and jalapeno green.  Definitely a highlight of my week.

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