Friday, 1 February 2013

What the rock is that?!

MATERIALS :

1. Marble gravel (Can be obtained from any gardening supply stores)
2. A small piece of slate (Can be obtained from any gardening stores)
3. A small piece of limestone (Can be obtained from any gardening supply stores)
4. Small rocks from around your house
5. White vinegar
6. A few transparent drinking glasses or transparent bowls (Should be large enough to hold the rock samples collected.)

INSTRUCTIONS :

1. At first label the transparent glass or bowls. Label one glass or bowl “marble”, another one “slate”, another one “limestone” and finally another one “around the house”.
2. Place the rocks in the glasses or bowls based on the labels.
3. Now put some vinegar into each glass to completely submerge the rocks.
4. Observe what happens in each of the glasses and write about your observations

RESULT :

1. Bubbles should appear in the glass or bowl containing marble.
2. There is no reaction in the glass containing slate i.e. the situation in the glass or bowl.
3. Bubbles should appear in the glass or bowl containing limestone.
4. Depending on what kinds of rocks they are the rocks around your house you may or may not see bubbles.

EXPLANATION :

Marble and limestone and also many other rocks contain a chemical compound which is called calcium carbonate. When calcium carbonate comes into contact with an acidic substance such as vinegar a chemical reaction takes place. The bubbles are actually the proof of that chemical reaction which takes place between the transparent glass or bowl. Slate do not have calcium carbonate. So it does not react with the vinegar. The original chemical reaction which takes place between the calcium carbonate and the vinegar i.e. the acetic acid creates calcium acetate which is a soluble water and carbon dioxide gas (CO2). You see bubbles when actually carbon dioxide gas is started to produce.

MORE EXPLANATIONS:

Many old or more correctly ancient buildings like the buildings which were made by Romans or Greeks were actually made of marble. The damage of these ancient Roman or Greek buildings is increased because of natural phenomena such as acid rain.

MORE EXPERIMENTS FOR YOU :

1. Bones contain calcium carbonate. So try a chicken or a birds bone in this experiment.
2. Try using sea shells in this experiment to see what happens.
3. Use fish bone to see if the fish bone has any calcium carbonate or not?

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