Magnesium atoms reacting

At the conclusion of your last lesson you knew more about the atom than Ernest Rutherford, apologies 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson at the height of his career. The most fascinating thing about atoms is their size.

  • they are tiny compared to us
  • the nucleus of an atom is tiny compared to the rest of the atom

If you pumped up the nucleus of the smallest atom hydrogen to the size of a soccer ball and placed it on the centre circle of field at Rutherfield College gthe electron would be the size of a pea and you would find it somewhere around the sky tower in central Auckland!

Have a look at the video comparing the size of atoms to blueberries

The magnesium atoms in a piece of magnesium metal can be made to react chemically by either heating them in a bunsen flame or dropping them into an acid. (it didn’t matter whether it was dilute sulphuric acid or hydrochloric acid)

The reaction with acid produced a lighter than air gas that exploded with a pop when it was lit. Can you remember which gas it was?

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