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Desc:A mysterious multi-phased chemical reaction which chemists are still trying to explain
Category:Science & Technology
Tags:chemistry, oscillation, reaction, iodine, magnetic stirrer
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Comment count is 20
Udderdude - 2008-01-15
It's stuck in an infinite loop. Someone reset it please.
DrVital - 2008-01-15
Clear proof that evolution is false and intelligent design is correct.
Killer Joe - 2008-01-15

mouser - 2008-01-16

Chalkdust - 2008-01-15
That would make an awesome steampunk traffic signal.
takewithfood - 2008-01-16
"Sir, are you aware that you ran a navy light back there?"

"I swear, officer, the light was transparent.."

Princess v2.1 - 2008-01-15
Frank Rizzo - 2008-01-15
"The detailed mechanism of this reaction is quite complex.[18][9]. Nevertheless, a good general explanation can be given.

The essential features of the system depend on two key processes (These processes each involve many reactions working together):

* A ("non-radical process"): The slow consumption of free iodine by the malonic acid substrate in the presence of iodate. This process involves the intermediate production of iodide ion.
* B ("radical process"): A fast autocatalytic process involving manganese and free radical intermediates, which converts hydrogen peroxide and iodate to free iodine and oxygen. This process also can consume iodide up to a limiting rate.

But process B can operate only at low concentrations of iodide, creating a feedback loop as follows:

Initially, iodide is low and process B generates free iodine, which gradually accumulates. Meanwhile process A slowly generates the intermediate iodide ion out of the free iodine at an increasing rate proportional to its (i.e. I2) concentration. At a certain point, this overwhelms process B, stopping the production of more free iodine, which is still being consumed by process A. Thus, eventually the concentration of free iodine (and thus iodide) falls low enough for process B to start up again and the cycle repeats as long as the original reactants hold out.

The overall result of both processes is (again, approximately)[9]:

IO3- + 2H2O2 + CH2(COOH)2 + H+ → ICH(COOH)2 + 2O2 + 3H2O

The color changes seen during the reaction correspond to the actions of the two processes: the slowly increasing amber color is due to the production of free iodine by process B. When process B stops, the resulting increase in iodide ion enables the sudden blue starch color. But since process A is still acting, this slowly fades back to clear. The eventual resumption of process B is invisible, but can be revealed by the use of a suitable electrode[6].

A negative feedback loop which includes a delay (mediated here by process A) is a general mechanism for producing oscillations in many physical systems, but is very rare in nonbiological homogeneous chemical systems (The BZ oscillating reaction has a somewhat similar feedback loop)."

from wikipedia.
Menudo con queso - 2008-01-15
DAAAHHH, me think it's pwetty, me no understand si-unce, me got librul arts duhgree.

Aernaroth2 - 2008-01-16
Gentlemen! To SCIENCE!

Frank Rizzo - 2008-01-16
You think I understand that?

kingofthenothing - 2009-02-21
In Magic the Gathering terms:

Enchantments A and B are in play and resolve normally.
An amount of Iodide creature tokens are put into play and resolve normally.
Enchantment B changes the creature type of "Iodide" to Iodine.
Enchantment A will turn "Iodine" back to "Iodide".
Both Enchantments only seem to work on their player's turns and the effects end when their turn ends.

Some of you will mock me, some others will go "oh."

Caminante Nocturno - 2008-01-15
The scientific explanation is simple: I'm doing it with my mind.
bang to buck ratio - 2008-01-16
I bet you could make a pretty bitchin lava lamp using this principle.
baleen - 2008-01-16

Is this related in any way to the chemical processes in cephalopod skin? It has the same look of an octopus changing into a coral.

Repomancer - 2008-01-16
In a word, no.

Innocent Bystander - 2008-01-16
So when is this thing going to be incorporated into alcoholic beverages?
Ahriman the Creepy Lurker - 2008-01-16
I don't know what the hell is happening in that beaker, but I know it's awesome.
Cube - 2008-01-17
I've always wondered why THIS isn't shown in the first classes of chemistry in schools. It'd spark a lot more interest towards chemistry than explaining some boring basics -- which could be taught later on, when at least somebody would be motivated.
takewithfood - 2008-01-17
It actually was, in my chemistry class. A lot of teachers also lead by filling one balloon with helium and another with hydrogen and popping each with a long match. Watching one baloon pop normally while the other, identical balloon ASPLODES in a rocktastic fireball is also pretty inspiring.

My biology teacher once tried to show us the difference between some seemingly similar elements by dropping chunks of them in big beakers of water. Most of them didn't do anything, which was the point, until he got to the sodium.

Sort of.

Unfortunately, he mixed up the magnesium and the sodium; what he thought was a big chunk of boring old unreactive magnesium was actually a big chunk of kaboomy sodium. It skittered around on the water's surface for about three seconds, caught fire, then exploded. Apart from a couple cuts in the first row, nobody was really hurt. A piece of flaming glass landed on my notebook. Our teacher almost got fired, but the message got through to us more clearly than intended.

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