Volume 94 Issue 12 | p. 13
Issue Date: March 21, 2016

Chemistry in pictures

Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: Chempics, ferrofluid, bismuth

Selections from cen.chempics.org, where C&EN showcases the beauty of chemistry. To enter our photo contest, visit cen.chempics.org or e-mail CENChemPics@acs.org.

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‘Millefiori’

Swiss artist Fabian Oefner created a stunning series of watercolors called “Millefiori” with the help of magnetism. He simply added bright watercolors on top of a small dish filled with an oozy black magnetic substance called ferrofluid—a mixture containing oil and nanoparticles of magnetic substances such as iron oxides. When Oefner runs a magnet under the dish, the nanoparticles get magnetized, pushing and pulling each other around such that the ferrofluid creates peaks (black ridges and dots poking out of the paint) and valleys (troughs holding the paint). Even in these small droplets, which are about 1 cm wide, the oil and water don’t mix, resulting in the division of the watercolors and oily ferrofluid. —Manny Morone

Credit: Fabian Oefner
Brightly colored abstract art.
 
‘Millefiori’

Swiss artist Fabian Oefner created a stunning series of watercolors called “Millefiori” with the help of magnetism. He simply added bright watercolors on top of a small dish filled with an oozy black magnetic substance called ferrofluid—a mixture containing oil and nanoparticles of magnetic substances such as iron oxides. When Oefner runs a magnet under the dish, the nanoparticles get magnetized, pushing and pulling each other around such that the ferrofluid creates peaks (black ridges and dots poking out of the paint) and valleys (troughs holding the paint). Even in these small droplets, which are about 1 cm wide, the oil and water don’t mix, resulting in the division of the watercolors and oily ferrofluid. —Manny Morone

Credit: Fabian Oefner
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Crashing out

In a double-displacement reaction, two sets of ionic chemical pairs switch partners. The reaction of silver nitrate with sodium chloride forms a white solid because, although both starting materials are very soluble in water, silver chloride, one of the products, is mostly insoluble. As silver chloride forms, it crashes out of solution, clouding the liquid. Meanwhile, soluble NaNO3, the other product, stays dissolved. Here is the full chemical reaction: AgNO3 (aqueous) + NaCl (aqueous) → AgCl (solid) + NaNO3 (aqueous) This photograph is from a series of illustrated chemical demonstrations available at beautifulchemistry.net. —Craig Bettenhausen

Credit: Yan Liang/University of Science & Technology of China/BeautifulChemistry.net
A white cloud crashes into a clear colorless solution.
 
Crashing out

In a double-displacement reaction, two sets of ionic chemical pairs switch partners. The reaction of silver nitrate with sodium chloride forms a white solid because, although both starting materials are very soluble in water, silver chloride, one of the products, is mostly insoluble. As silver chloride forms, it crashes out of solution, clouding the liquid. Meanwhile, soluble NaNO3, the other product, stays dissolved. Here is the full chemical reaction: AgNO3 (aqueous) + NaCl (aqueous) → AgCl (solid) + NaNO3 (aqueous) This photograph is from a series of illustrated chemical demonstrations available at beautifulchemistry.net. —Craig Bettenhausen

Credit: Yan Liang/University of Science & Technology of China/BeautifulChemistry.net
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Elemental gift shop

Reader Kylie Jespersen bought this bismuth crystal at a Little America gift shop in Wyoming. “When I saw it, I was so excited and I knew I had to get one,” she says. “It was the very first pure element that I had found.” Bismuth’s stepped crystallization patterns, iridescent colors, affordable price, and low toxicity make it a popular start to many element collections. —Craig Bettenhausen

Credit: Submitted by Kylie Jespersen
A bismuth crystal with characteristic stepped shape and iridescent finish.
 
Elemental gift shop

Reader Kylie Jespersen bought this bismuth crystal at a Little America gift shop in Wyoming. “When I saw it, I was so excited and I knew I had to get one,” she says. “It was the very first pure element that I had found.” Bismuth’s stepped crystallization patterns, iridescent colors, affordable price, and low toxicity make it a popular start to many element collections. —Craig Bettenhausen

Credit: Submitted by Kylie Jespersen
 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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