"A song of dry ice and hydrogen fire" experiment

How do dry ice and hydrogen fire sound

Can chem­i­cal sub­stances sing? In this en­ter­tain­ing ex­per­i­ment we will show you that chem­istry is not just a beau­ti­ful sci­ence, but also a mu­si­cal one!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Con­duct the ex­per­i­ment in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed room. Wear pro­tec­tive gloves and glass­es. Don’t pick up dry ice with your bare hands–it can cause the tis­sues to freeze. Ob­serve safe­ty rules when work­ing with fire and flammable sub­stances.

*Reagents and equip­ment:

  • metal­lic zinc;
  • 15% hy­drochlo­ric acid;
  • dry ice (sol­id car­bon diox­ide);
  • flask with gas pipe with a fine noz­zle;
  • lighter;
  • cloth nap­kin;
  • met­al spoon;
  • glass cylin­der/pipe.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Sprin­kle zinc into the flask, pour hy­drochlo­ric acid and seal with a cork with a gas pipe with a fine noz­zle. Af­ter a few min­utes ig­nite the gas that comes out of the pipe – ob­serve its bare­ly no­tice­able flame. Take a glass pipe and pass it ver­ti­cal­ly over the flame – an un­usu­al sound is pro­duced.

Place a few pieces of dry ice on the cloth nap­kin and touch them with the met­al spoon. There is a hiss­ing sound.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

In the in­ter­ac­tion of zinc and hy­drochlo­ric acid a col­or­less com­bustible gas is re­leased–hy­dro­gen. When we run a glass tube over the flame, it heats the air in­side it. Waves of hot air col­lide with the walls of the cylin­der, and a howl­ing sound is cre­at­ed. The high­er the flame is lo­cat­ed in the cylin­der, the high­er the pitch. Hy­dro­gen burns with a col­or­less flame, and wa­ter is formed, which set­tles on the walls of the cylin­der and weak­ens the sound:

2Н₂ + О₂ = 2Н₂О

If you touch dry ice with a met­al spoon, you can hear a squeak­ing noise. This is caused by the mi­cro vi­bra­tions that form in the sub­li­ma­tion of dry ice, i.e. when it moves from a sol­id state to a gaseous state.