This programme takes a look at some extreme chemical reactions and explores a number of exciting experiments that can be performed in the classroom.
Starting with Group1 elements, Dr Kay Stephenson from the Royal Society of Chemistry shows the trends in reactivity on descending group 1. Bob Worley from CLEAPSS demonstrates the extreme reaction of rubidium and caesium in water and highlights the risk assessments required before attempting these experiments. They go on to demonstrate burning sodium in chlorine, burning calcium in air, reduction of copper oxide using magnesium powder, iron reacting with sulphur and sulphur with zinc. Professor Holloway from Leicester University, an expert on fluorine, demonstrates some rarely seen reactions, and continues to explore the decreasing reactivity of the halogens as we descend group 7. All the experiments demonstrated carry on-screen guidance and safety tips. With the exception of fluorine most of the experiments shown can be performed in school with appropriate safety precautions.