Thursday, September 9, 2010

Physical and Chemical Properties

The household item I selected to experiment on was a marshmallow. Marshmallows seemed like an interesting choose, how would a common household react with common household items/ activities. Well after doing all of the experiments I found out that marshmallows are tougher than they appear. I noticed that it was much faster for physical changes to take place and those tended to give more conclusive results of what happened and why. But the chemical changes were much more dramatic. Using my chemistry knowledge  I was able to conclude simple things like what change was made(chemical or physical), what was the change, was there a reaction, what kind of reaction?

Stretch- Stretching out the marshmallow changed the dimensions from 3 by 3 cm to 4 by 4 cm. Proving that the marshmallow is malleable.
Freeze- After freezing the marshmallow for 30 minutes the only physical change was that it became harder, more ridged and smoother.
Boil- placing the marshmallow in 2 cups of boiling water it dissolved in matter of seconds, changing the color of the water to a murky white. The marshmallow changed state from a solid to a liquid.
Cut-No chemical changes took place I cut the marshmallow in half, changing the appearance of it and the dimensions of it.
Hammer-By hammering the marshmallow I completely flattened it out changing the size of it, it went from 3 by 3 cm to 5 by 5 cm. Again the marshmallow is malleable the marshmallow is malleable.

Cutting the marshmallow                                          Dissolving the marshmallow in water

Hairspray- The marshmallow did not react chemically with the hairspray as I expected it to, I thought that the chemicals in the hairspray would burn through  the marshmallow. The harispray created physical changes with the marshmallow, making the marshmallow slimy. Using the hairspray is a lack of a chemical change and the hairspray did the exact opposite of what i thought it would do. 
Gasoline- The marshmallow did react with the gasoline, the gasoline changed the odor of the marshmallow from none to a quite strong smell of gasoline.
Muriatic Acid(pool cleaner)- After 10 minutes in 4 tablespoons of  acid the marshmallow was completely dissolved, you could tell there was a chemical change because after dissolving the marshmallow in the acid, the acid heated up.
Fire- A classic thing to do with a marshmallow...burn it. Setting fire to the marshmallow burns it, producing heat indicating a chemical change.
Drain Opener- The marshmallow dissolved in the in the drain opener and when it did the drain opener heated up, showing that a chemical change occurred

Marshmallow while in acid                                                Marshmallow after burning 


  1. It is very interesting that you found out how marshmallows are tough. Your pictures are very helpful for understanding as well. You could include that the reason a chemical change occurerd when the marshmallow reacted to the fire was because the burning changed the marshmallow to the color black instead of its original color of white. I understand the marshmallow turned black because of the picture, but you could have put that observation in words. You could also explain in every chemical change, the composition changed. Good job on your blog!

  2. Overall, I think you did a good job, but I do have a few things to point out:
    1. There are grammar mistakes throughout, work on fixing some such as choose to choice, and the word marshmallow was malleable showed up twice right next to one another.
    2. I think it would've been a good idea to have added whether the changes were reversible or not; it would have helped to explain things much better.
    3. Stretching the marshmallow is the same thing as hammering it. hammering it is just stretching it without the use of your hand, so I feel like malleability is a bit redundant.
    4. You said that the marshmallow turned slimy, and then said it was a physical reaction. Could you elaborate? Is it a physical reaction? I would like to know more.
    5. Pouring gasoline on something and then it smelling like gasoline is not a chemical reaction. You are just smelling gasoline. I suggest that that be revised.
    7. For burning it, describe the color change.
    8. Lastly, I am very confused about the drain opener, could you explain some more. Is that a chemical reaction?
    I do want to applaud your good work, you did a good job!

  3. The experiments for your chemical and physical properties were really well done in explaining the changes, but it would have been more helpful to go into more detail about the types of chemical changes that occurred. The experiments were all really interesting and varied, but more explanation about the gasoline and drain experiment along with more pictures could have made it easier to understand. The introduction was really good and gave me a good understanding of the whole experiment. The blog was really neat and well done!

  4. I think some more pictures on your blog would have been helpful. Some of your descriptions were kind of confusing but overall you did a good job explaining your properties. Maybe a little more description of the overall process and actual changing of the marshmellow as you experimented would have been helpful to help us understand more what was happening.
    Good job!
    -Madison V.