New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Colour, Energy and Photons of Light – Quantum Chemistry Demonstration Experiment

Petr Holzhauser, UCT Prague (Czech Republic)

Stanislav Valtera, UCT Prague (Czech Republic)


Chemistry is an experimental science. It allows us to show experiments which smell, burn, explode or are simply colorful. It is possible to perceive chemistry by all senses.
The aim of this contribution is to explain the importance, role and potential of attractive STEM demonstration experiments. Demonstration experiments are not limited only to classrooms but can be carried out under different occasions such as summer schools and camps, science fairs, public shows etc.
The part of the lecture is the real demonstration of photo-chemically induced hydrogen and chlorine reaction. The knowledge of bonding energy of chlorine molecule allows us to calculate the color of chlorine. Thus we can match the color of light needed for chlorine molecule dissociation. The relative energy of differently colored light is demonstrated using fluorescent objects. Finally the true demonstration of quantum nature of light is carried out as a loud and smelling chain reaction.
All the equipment and chemicals are easily accessible at the secondary school level. Realized experiment shows the possibility, attractiveness and value of interdisciplinary demonstration experiment – it links Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Keywords: STEM, senses, multidisciplinarity;

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