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Edexcel International GCSE Chemistry
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Links for Chapter 7: Oxygen and the Air

Video clips and animations

Percentage of oxygen in the air

Using hot copper and the syringe experiment to measure the percentage of oxygen in the air. Unlike the description in Chapter 7 of the book, this uses a hard glass rather than a silica tube. That's why the tube ends up bent after the strong heating. Silica would have been unaffected. From Mike Thompson's ChemPics on YouTube.

Simple reactions of oxygen

Making oxygen from hydrogen peroxide and using it to relight a glowing splint and burn iron wool. YouTube

Burning sulfur in oxygen

Simple video of sulfur burning in oxygen. Notice the very, very small flame in air. The video names the product as sulfur(IV) oxide, which is the formal chemical name for it, but it is more usually called sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a colourless gas. The creamy "gas" that you see during the reaction is actually some sulfur which vaporises and then condenses as a very, very fine powder. YouTube

Burning magnesium in air and oxygen

This is a German video showing that magnesium burns much more intensely in oxygen than in air (German = luft). YouTube

The lab preparation of carbon dioxide

This shows how you can prepare a few test tubes of carbon dioxide in the lab using marble chips and dilute hydrochloric acid. The apparatus used isn't exactly the same as the one shown on page 58 of the book, but is equally acceptable. It is important for you to realise that there isn't a single right piece of apparatus for any particular reaction - there are all sorts of variants that you could use. From Mike Thompson's ChemPics on YouTube.


Instructions for practical work

I have referred to practicalchemistry.org as a reliable source of instructions for experiments. If you find anything really good from other sources, could you let me know via the address on the about this site page of Chemguide.

I haven't been able to find much of interest for this chapter. Most of the practical opportunities are simple and straightforward and are obvious from the book anyway.

pH of oxides

Simple reactions to show the pHs of oxides of metals and non-metals after reaction with water. Read the teaching notes carefully - it would be easy to leave a very misleading impression if things weren't phrased with great care.

Percentage of oxygen in the air

A rough estimate of the percentage of oxygen in the air using rusting. The "volume" measurements are crude - the way it is done in the book is better!


Other useful or interesting sites

Acid rain

This is from the excellent US Environmental Protection Agency site. There is a mass of information including some experimental work.

Climate change

An intelligent (and hype-free) summary of the current thinking of those who believe that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change. From the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The sceptics' view of climate change

This site provides summaries of articles and other information from climate change sceptics (including scientists) from all over the world. It is added to daily. Beware! - if you read this regularly and open-mindedly for two or three weeks, you will find it quite difficult to accept the view that carbon dioxide is the main driver of climate change.


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© Jim Clark 2009