A series of short, fun videos exploring the chemistry of the alkali metals, taken from a lecture by Dr. Peter Wothers at the University of Cambridge.
Breaking down sodium azide into sodium and nitrogen - the reaction that makes an airbag work!
Watch how sodium tarnishes as it comes into contact with air
Using sodium peroxide to provide oxygen to burn some cereal!
Potassium metal reacts more easily with air than sodium and lithium
Potassium forms oxides, peroxides and superoxides when it reacts with oxygen.
The release of oxygen causes a violent reaction between potassium superoxide and lithium
Watch the two largest alkali metals react with the air
What would it be like if the sea contained caesium chloride, rather than sodium chloride?
Dramatic reaction of sodium and chlorine, forming salt!
Explosive reaction of potassium and iodine to form another salt, potassium iodide.
How are the alkali metals used in everyday life?
Dramatic demonstration of how energy can be released from sodium
Using what we know about the akali metals to create a pretty big bang!
Six more puzzles to challenge and enthuse your students
How to encourage your pupils to use it as a resource
Nina Notman explains why forest fires in Indonesia made the sky look red
Ask students to plan experiments, record data and draw conclusions in this practical activity
How can we use vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to make a fire extinguisher?
Examine the environmental impact of our clothing with these resources
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