The chemical reaction that can't make up its mind

With Andrea Sella

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In the 1950s, Russian chemist Boris Belousov reported a bizarre reaction. A reaction that oscillates between two states. Could it be violating the second law of thermodynamics? Andrea Sella investigates.
Day 13 of our thermodynamics advent calendar

In the 1950s, Russian chemist Boris Belousov reported a bizarre reaction. It’s a reaction that can’t seem to make up its mind. As two liquids are mixed together, a colour change occurs, then reverses, then happens again, then flips back…

What’s going on? Could this seemingly spontaneously reversing reaction be violating the second law of thermodynamics? Chemist Andrea Sella demonstrates the startling Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction and explains why, in the end, no laws are broken.


The 2016 advent calendar explores the four laws of thermodynamics with a new short film each day, with explosive demonstrations, unique animations, and even a musical number. 

Themes

Materials, Talking Science, Technology

Details

Type:
Demo
Published:
2016
Filmed:
2016
Collections with this video:
Thermodynamics: The 2016 advent calendar

cc_by-nc-sa License: Creative Commons

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