Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Belousov oscillating reaction - CHEMISTRY & EXPERIMENTS

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…

Chemists wondered: Could this be violating the second law of thermodynamics? Chemical reactions travel in one direction: down an energy gradient. But this one goes back and forth. Is the reaction travelling up the gradient?

No. Of course, what’s really happening is that the reaction is slowly moving down the slope, all in one direction. Though it seems to be reversing, what you’re seeing is just the reaction in process, and it will eventually settle on one final product.



Story via The Royal Institution

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