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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 2 (2002) pp 81-83

A Safe Way of Performing Some Dangerous Experiments. I. Construction of a Safety Spoon

Vladimir M. Petruševski* and Metodija Ž. Najdoski

Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, Arhimedova 5, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Received January 17, 2002. Accepted February 27, 2002

Published online: 22 March 2002

Abstract. The demonstrations of many remarkable experiments include a high safety risk (e.g. the reaction of large pieces of sodium/potassium with water; the reaction of potassium with liquid bromine; the reaction of sodium with concentrated sulfuric acid, etc.). Chemistry teachers and instructors are usually reluctant to perform experiments that include a hazard. As a result, a number of fascinating experiments remain unknown to the public. Using homemade devices (in this case a safety spoon) one can perform all the above experiments with complete safety, both for the audience and the demonstrator. Details for performing some of these dangerous experiments are given in this paper. In addition, the construction of a simple remote-controlled (RC) safety spoon is explained in detail. Video clips of two demonstrations are offered as an aid for inexperienced instructors.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; sodium; potassium; bromine: safety spoon

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (264KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

reaction of a large piece of sodium with water (8.6 MB MPG) 10.1007/s00897020546b

reaction between potassium metal and liquid bromine (3.02 MB MPG) 10.1007/s00897020546c

Issue date: April 5, 2002

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