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Demonstration Experiments

Experiments for use in Lecture Classes
Interaction of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid
This experiment demonstrates hydrogen bonding in a tangible way. It is also related to food safety.

Available materials:
- Instructions
(S. Bowen, C. Hilty)

Diffraction Experiment
picture 1 The diffraction experiment contains a red and a green laser that diffract on slides with various patterns. Stripe patterns give rise to one-dimensional diffraction images, reminiscent of the double slit experiment. Square patterns and more complicated shapes produce two-dimensional diffraction images, which can be used to illustrate crystallography (see figure). The effect of different pattern sizes, as well as the effect of the different wavelength can be shown on the diffraction image. This effect can also be used to demonstrate the appearance of the diffraction image in a high-resolution vs. a low-resolution crystal structure (smaller features give rise to larger angles of diffraction). Finally, as illustrated in the figure, the diffraction image can be calculated from the Fourier transform of the pattern.

Available materials:
- Diffraction experiment (incl. laser setup and slides)
- Patterns for printing on slides
- MATLAB script for calculating the image in the figure
(to use the experiment, please contact Christian Hilty)

Low-field NMR Experiment for Physical Chemistry Laboratory
 picture 2 This experiment is a college level laboratory experiment to illustrate the underlying principles of NMR. It is carried out over three lab periods of three hours each. The experiment is performed on a NMR spectrometer that we specifically built for this purpose, operating at the earth's ambient magnetic field. The spectrometer represents all of the features of a modern NMR spectrometer in a simplified manner, without the need for complex radio-frequency electronics. Measurements include spin-echo experiments, spin relaxation time measurements, and diffusion measurements using a pulsed field gradient. During the laboratory periods, students experience a hands-on introduction into pulsed NMR techniques and instrumentation, and into data acquisition techniques. A specially designed software is provided for independent data processing.

Available materials:
- Student manual
- Instructor manual
- Construction plans
- Software
(to obtain a copy, please contact Christian Hilty)

Reference: Hilty, C., Bowen, S. A NMR experiment based on off-the-shelf digital data acquisition equipment. (published in Journal of Chemical Education).

Secrets of Life: Enzymes and Chemical Reactions
picture 3 This experiment is a demonstration of an enzymatic reaction from the citric acid cycle, a set of reactions that provide energy to the cells in the human body. The experiment is aimed at K-12 students (grades 5-12) under the supervision of an instructor who is familiar with safe laboratory practices.

Image: Rendering of the active site of Malate dehydrogenase (PDB 2DFD)

Available materials:
- Set of spectrophotometers
- Reagent kit
- Student/instructor manual
- Instruction video in ogg format or in avi format
(for further information, please contact Christian Hilty or Chemistry Road Show)

Some of the material on this page is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-0846402. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).