The Transit

Here are the pictures we took on the view finder of a telescope at the University of Auckland when the clouds cleared at 10:30am.

From the Stardome in the cornwall park

And from NASA who had a slightly better image.

Stay tuned for the next experiments that are coming; cosmic ray cloud chamber and more physics and chemistry experiments.

Glow sticks

Ever wonder what the light of glow sticks is made up of?

hydrogen peroxide solution and a solution containing a phenyl oxalate ester and a fluorescent dye

two “loopy-about-glowsticks” kids!

The hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the phenyl oxalate ester, resulting in a chemical called phenol and an unstable peroxyacid ester.
The unstable peroxyacid ester decomposes, resulting in additional phenol and a cyclic peroxy compound.


the Astrix means I’m exited

The cyclic peroxy compound decomposes to carbon dioxide.
This decomposition releases energy to the dye.
The electrons in the dye atoms jump to a higher level, then fall back down, releasing energy in the form of light.

Hydrogen peroxide






Lunch on Venus

 two mad scientists!

sulphuric acid loves sugar…it means trouble!!!

Concentrated sulfuric acid is a strong dehydrating agent. It dehydrates the carbohydrate sucrose with an exothermic reaction. Carbon and water are produced in this ‘caramelization process’ (1).

Concentrated sulfuric acid also acts as an oxidising agent.

Some of the carbon is oxidised to carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide while the acid sulfuric acid is reduced to sulfurous acid which can break down to sulfur dioxide which is a toxic gas (so don’t try this at home). The hot steam creates gas bubbles in the carbon making the foam that rises up.[1]


Sun Spots

Using a telescope we make a picture of the sun on a piece of paper and looked at the Sun spots

did you like that? maybe you should look at our sulfuric acid video :-]


me and my best friend jamie playing on the telescope

Brightness adjusted in order to see the sunspots


CD Spectrometer

We made the CD spectrometer using a cereal box and a CD. Using the instructions in the experiment section.


Marking and cutting out the cereal box



Finished CD spectrometer


Slit made in the side of the box


Looking onto the CD you can see a spectrum of colours


Looking at a fluorescent light

Spectrum taken using Ocean Optics spectrometer


Candle flame wide peak meaning lots of colours in the flame

Candle with salt sodium is seen to emit at 587nm

Spectrum from Fluorescent light which has a few wavelengths of colour

Spectrum of white LED with light in the visible

Spectrum of red laser pointer with a narrow peak at 650nm

What to know the spectrum of a light source? Comment bellow and we will try and measure its spectrum.

Photon Factory – Oliver, Jamie, Jake and Cather