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Color Your World With Chemistry at Annual Demo Show

By Whitney Harder

(Oct. 19, 2015) — Capturing the attention of little minds and chem-enthusiasts across Lexington, the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will once again host its Chemistry Demonstration Show at 7 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 23. The show will take place in Room 139 of the UK Chemistry-Physics Building, 505 Rose Street.

Chemistry students, faculty and staff will conduct interactive and exciting demonstrations that showcase chemistry. The event celebrates National Chemistry Week and Mole Day, which commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), a basic measuring unit in chemistry. The theme for this year is "Chemistry Colors Our World."

"This year's theme is especially exciting because chemistry and colors go hand in hand," said Rosemary Easterday, a chemistry graduate student who is helping organize the event.

Demonstrations will incorporate acid/base chemistry, chemiluminescence and spectroscopy to reveal the different ways in which chemistry "colors our world." A safety presentation will kick off the show followed by a variety of demos ranging from household chemistry experiments to large-scale experiments requiring expert skill.  

"We try to incorporate as many hands-on activities as possible," Easterday said. "Our goal is to show that anyone can do chemistry."

The show is also an opportunity for graduate students to exhibit what they do every day on campus.

In the finale demonstration, called a "Chernobyl Reaction," smoke and light-producing reactions occur resulting in a spectacular visual experience, demonstrating how chemistry can be used for special effects in movies.

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