Science Snapshot: Gas Formation in Water

The life-sustaining properties of water can be seen as a dance. From the slow dance of liquid water turning into a solid to the fast waltz of liquid water turning into a gas, Earth relies on these properties of water to sustain life and provide a habitable place to live. The bubbles dancing around the images shown in this blog post are from a special chemical reaction involving liquid water and Alka Seltzer tablets. The water causes the molecular components of Alka Seltzer to dissociate (break apart) and individual molecules within the tablets (namely the sodium bicarbonate) react with water molecules to form a new molecules. One of these newly formed substances is carbon dioxide gas. Gases are less dense than liquids, so they dance to the top of the water-filled glass. This magical gas can be a nasty thorn when it comes to climate change or a much needed relief as it causes the pH in your stomach to turn basic, thus relieving acid reflux symptoms. Chemical reactions are filled with complex dance numbers as various newly formed substances will sink to the bottom, or dance to the top, or even burst into flames!


Thanks for reading! The writing and images in this blog are my own. What other chemical reactions can you think of that would be cool to zoom in and photograph? Let me know in the comments below!

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