Hidden Colors Revealed

With color, what you see isn’t always what you get. Discover the reasons in “Hidden Colors Revealed” when UWM chemist Alan Schwabacher shows various ways that color can be present, but not visible — or uncovered. He’ll make a white cloth made of fiberglass invisible before your very eyes by submerging the cloth in a liquid of the same index of refraction. He’ll demonstrate how substances can change from one color to another by removal of “obscuring” colors. On the flip side, Schwabacher will show some ways that colors caused by chemical reactions can form, and how other colors can hide by being mixed with still other colors. Finally, although colors like ultraviolet and infrared are invisible, we’ll learn how they impact the visible world: ultraviolet and sunburn; infrared and the effectiveness of insulation.

Urban Air: What’s in There?

The “mystery” of urban air is stripped away in this lively video. With clarity and delight, chemistry professor Thomas Holme looks at each of the components of air — nitrogen, oxygen, water, argon, and “other” — and demonstrates how, and under what conditions, they combine with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) to form pollution.

Life’s Matrix: A Biology of Water Chemistry

From the nucleus of an atom to the sub-surface of Mars, this engrossing video takes a journey into water, a commonplace substance, but also “extremely profound,” says chemistry professor Michael Reddy. He starts this journey with “foreign language” lessons in the vocabulary of chemistry. Initially he works with the basic components of an atom, the proceeds to the structure of hydrogen, of oxygen, and of their combined state as a water molecule.

Ancient Arrowheads, Roman Baseball Cards, and Optical Fibers: The Many Uses of Glass

“Don’t try this at home,” warns Robert Ponton as he chews up his drinking glasss to emphasize his point that glass is completely recyclable. He then goes on to share the secret of “glass” used in the movies (sugar and Karo syrup) as well as to survey the history of real glass, from the ancient use of obsidian for tools and weapons up to the fiber optics that “make our computers talk to each other.”

Water, Water Everywhere, And Sometimes Ice & Steam

Arthur Brooks engages the audience in a skillful and fast-paced mix of discussion and demonstration. He begins with a detailed examination of the chemistry of water, using charts, diagrams, and styrofoam models. His demonstrations include a miniature recreation of the Hindenburg explosion, how salt acts on roads in the winter, and many more.