Showing posts with label Chemistry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chemistry. Show all posts

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Hydrogen is a chemical that all by itself is a gas in the air.
There is more hydrogen in the universe than any other type of element!

Many types of molecules have hydrogen in them.
Like water is hydrogen and oxygen.
A very strong dangerous acid is hydrochloric acid, made from hydrogen and chlorine.
A chemical sometimes used for cleaning is hydrogen peroxide, which is hydrogen and oxygen.
In the sun's core, hydrogen is part of what makes all the energy for the sun.
There is a type of battery called a hydrogen fuel cell that uses hydrogen to help make energy.

There are many uses for hydrogen, it's a good thing there is so much of it!

(from: wikipedia - hydrogen)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Volcano

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Titanium is a very hard metal, that is not very heavy.
Because of this it is very good for use in things like spaceships that need to be very light.

It is not magnetic, and does not carry heat or electricity very well.

(from: wikipedia - titanium)

The scientist who discovered titanium named it after the old Greek stories of Titans who were giants with great strength.

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lava

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Sulfur is a chemical found on our planet that has many uses.

It burns very well, so the chemical on the end of a match stick is sulfur.

Sulfur is also very smelly, and smells like rotten eggs. It is the smell in skunk spray that makes it so bad!

(from: wikipedia - sulfur)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: LEDs

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Oxygen might just be the most important element for humans on the whole planet.

The air we breathe has oxygen that goes into our lungs, which is carried off to parts of our body in our blood.

Water is made up of the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen.

When you burn wood in a fireplace, the fire needs oxygen to keep burning.

And remember that all elements can be gas, liquid or solid depending on how hot or cold they are?

Liquid oxygen is super cold, almost -300 degrees!
When we sent a space shuttle up into outer space, we used a huge tank full of liquid oxygen to burn because it is such great fuel.
(from: wikipedia - oxygen)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Electroluminescence

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Potassium is another metal that is found on the earth.
It is very soft, and can easily be cut with a knife.

If you put potassium in a glass of water, it will make a big explosion!

When the potassium is in the water, it mixes up with hydrogen and oxygen.
As it is mixing together, the chemicals let off a lot of heat.
With all that heat, some of the hydrogen gas lights on fire, and then it goes kaboom!

We have potassium in our bodies, but it's not the same as the potassium metal that explodes.
It's sort of like what's left from the mixed up potassium after the big explosion, so it's safe.
(from: wikipedia - potassium)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Photons

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Corundum is a type of gem stone that can be many different colors, red, yellow, pink-orange, green or blue.

If the corundum is red, it is called a ruby. Otherwise it is called a sapphire.

Corundum is very hard and rough, is sometimes used on sandpaper or on large cutting machines.
(from: wikipedia - corundum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Diode

Thursday, August 21, 2014


When you drink milk, did you know that you're also drinking some metal?
Calcium is a healthy ingredient found in milk, that helps us have strong bones and teeth.
You can't tell that it's metal because there's only a tiny bit of calcium in there, so little you can't even see it.

Calcium all by itself is a shiny gray colored metal.
(from: wikipedia - calcium)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Doping Semiconductors

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Magnesium is a metal that is very common on our planet.
It is also in our bodies, and is used a lot to help plants grow.

One of the most interesting things about magnesium is that you can light it on fire.
It can even stay burning if it is underwater!

Since it burns so well, it is used a lot in fireworks, and even the metal sparklers that you light up for the 4th of July.
(from: wikipedia - magnesium)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Anode and Cathode

Thursday, June 19, 2014


The salt that we put in our food is sometimes called sodium.

Sodium is one of the main chemical elements, the building blocks that make up our world.

But the salt we eat is actually sodium mixed up with chlorine.

Sodium by itself is a solid shiny metal.
(from: wikipedia - sodium)

And chlorine by itself is a yellow gas.
(from: wikipedia - chlorine)

When they are combined together, they make sodium chloride the salt we eat.
sodium chloride
(from: wikipedia - sodium chloride)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Periodic Table

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Another type of metal like iron is aluminum.

Even though aluminum looks like a strong metal, it is very light and easy to bend.

(from: wikipedia - aluminum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Atomic Number

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Iron is a very common mineral found throughout the earth, and it is used in many types of metal things.

Because it is such a useful metal, it is mined throughout the world.
(from: wikipedia - iron)

When combined with other types of minerals like carbon, it can become stronger.
When two minerals are combined like that it is called an alloy.
With the right type of carbon and iron, you can make the super strong metal steel.

steel wire
(from: wikipedia - steel)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Chemical Elements

Thursday, May 8, 2014


The most common type of mineral on the earth is called feldspar.

The word feldspar comes from the German language and means "field rock that does not have ore". Ore is something in rocks that can be used to make metal.

Over half of the earth's crust is made up of feldspar.
The crust is the outer part of the planet earth.
(from: wikipedia - feldspar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Earth's Gravity

Thursday, May 1, 2014


We just learned that rocks are made up of minerals, and that minerals are the building blocks of the world.

One type of mineral is called pyrite.
It is a shiny metal that looks so much like gold that people called it fool's gold because people would discover it and think they had real gold and were rich.
(from: wikipedia - pyrite)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Acceleration

Thursday, April 24, 2014


We've learned about how rocks are mostly made up of other types of rocks that have either been squished together, melted together or piled on top of each other.

The building blocks of rocks are called minerals.
Some types of minerals are like crystals, and some are more like metals.

When these minerals get crushed, melted or squished together, they can make up rocks.

Like the rock marble that we learned about before is made up of the minerals calcite and dolomite. marble
(from: wikipedia - marble)

(from: wikipedia - calcite)

(from: wikipedia - dolomite)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Kinematics

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Periodic Table

We've learned about chemical elements and atomic numbers now,
but with all these different elements and atoms, how can anyone remember it all??

To help remember all of these different things, a scientist came up with something called the periodic table.
It takes all of the different chemical elements and puts them into a picture, organized by their atomic number.
Each element has it's own short name, like Oxygen is O, Hydrogen is H, Neon is Ne.

periodic table
(from: wikipedia - periodic table)

Not all of the names match exactly like you would guess!
Like Gold is Au, Sodium is Na, and Lead is Pb.
There are some really crazy named elements too, like Darmstadtium (Ds) and Ununpentium (Uup)!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Atomic number

We already know that atoms are super small things,
and that they have even smaller protons, neutrons and electrons in them.

We also know that chemical elements and molecules make up all the things in the world,
from the air to the water to the earth.

Each one of those chemical elements is different, because of the number of protons it has.

And the number of protons an atom or element has, we call that the atomic number.
It's different for every chemical element in the world!
atomic number
(from: wikipedia - atomic number)

For example, oxygen has 8 protons, and gold has 79.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chemical Elements

Chemical Elements may be kind of hard to say,
but what that means is the very simple types of atoms that make up all of the molecules
that make up everything in the world.

So for example, Oxygen is a chemical element, and so is Hydrogen.
They're both types of gases,
and they both are atoms all by themselves.

But when these atoms get stuck together, they become a molecule and turn into water!

Every type of thing on the planet is made up of these chemical elements,
from the dirt under your feet to the clouds in the sky.
chemical elements
(from: wikipedia - chemical element)

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Remember we learned that ions are atoms with a mismatched number of protons and electrons.

When these mismatched atoms meet up with other mismatched atoms,
they can stick together to become a bunch of atoms, called a molecule.

(from: wikipedia - properties of water)

Thursday, May 23, 2013


We've learned before about atoms,
and the parts inside of them protons, neutrons and electrons

Electrons have a negative charge, and Protons have a positive charge.

If an atom has more electrons than protons or more protons than electrons,
then we call it an ion.

If we know the number of electrons and protons, we can figure out whether it is more negative or more positive.

So if an atom has 4 electrons and 2 protons, then there are 2 more electrons.
This would give the atom a negative charge of 2.
An ion with a negative charge is called an anion.

If an atom has 6 protons and 2 electrons, then there are 4 more protons.
This would give the atom a positive charge of 4.
An ion with a positive charge is called a cation.

(from: wikipedia - ion)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


We learned before about Earth's gravity and how it pulls you to the ground.

The reason it does that is because of something called mass.

Mass is sort of like how heavy something is, but also how big it is.

So a marshmallow as big as a house may be heavy enough to squash you,
but if you had a marshmallow as big as a bowling ball, the bowling ball is heavier.

A bowling ball is pretty heavy, but a bowling ball the size of a penny would be pretty light.

The two things that work together for mass are size and something called density.
Density is another big word that means something like how thick a thing is for it's size.

If something has really big size and density (like Earth) then it has really big mass.
If it is big but fluffy like a cloud, it has small mass.
If it is small but really thick density like a marble, it has small mass.
And if it is small and fluffy like a marshmallow then it has really small mass.
(from: wikipedia - earth)

(from: wikipedia - marshmallow)