“Chemical meteorologist” experiment
How to make a home weather station (storm glass)
What will the weather be like this evening, and what should you take with you: an umbrella or a scarf? Here’s an experiment to make one of humanity’s most mysterious inventions – a storm glass! Even Captain Nemo used one on board the Nautilus!
Wear protective gloves and glasses an observe safety rules in working with flammable substances.
Reagents and equipment:
- camphor (120 g);
- ammonium chloride (30 g);
- potassium nitrate (30 g);
- ethyl alcohol (480 ml);
- water (400 ml);
- burner for dry fuel;
- dry fuel;
- glass rod;
- jar with ground lid;
Sprinkle camphor into the beaker, then add ethyl alcohol. Stir until the camphor dissolves. Add the solution of ammonium chloride and the solution of potassium nitrate to the beaker. Observe the sediment form. Heat the contents of the beaker on the burner with dry fuel, covering with a flask to prevent the alcohol from evaporating. Then pour the resulting solution into the jar with the ground lid and cool to room temperature.
A storm glass is a chemical meteorological device which was used in the 19th century. Inside the glass is a mixture of camphor, ammonium chloride and potassium nitrate. The ammonium chloride and potassium nitrate increase the density of the solution, and the camphor crystals serve as a weather indicator. The form and size of the crystals in the jar depend directly on the temperature. Both adults and children will enjoy observing the storm glass. It should be placed near a window, but keep it away from sunlight. According to some researchers, you can predict the weather a few minutes before it changes.
- Transparent liquid – good, fine weather
- Crystals on the bottom – foggy air, frosts in winter
- Cloudy liquid with little stars – storms
- Large flakes – heavy air, cloudy skies, snow in winter
- Cloudiness in the upper part – windy weather
- Little dots – humid weather, fog
- Flakes grow and remain high up – wind in the upper levels of air
- Little stars – in winter bright, sunny days, snow for one or two days
The higher the crystals grow in the glass pipe in the winter, the colder it will be.