Making a Copper Quarter

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Introduction: Making a Copper Quarter

A red hot quarter is placed in methanol. It boils the
methanol, twice. It turns into a copper quarter. Not only is it a great visual chemistry demonstration, it will make you scratch your head.

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    16 Comments

    where u get methanol

    You can find it at a hardware store or any large supermarket.

    Cool, how is that quarter red anyways?

    when something (metal) gets hot enough, it glows red.

    When you add energy to a molecule (the heat of the fire to the quarter) It moves the valence electrons to a higher energy level, and when those electrons move back to their stable energy levels they release energy in the form of photons (light) whose color is determined by their wavelength which is determined by the energy released. Can you tell I'm in a honors chem. class? :D

    what is the fire there for?

    this will only work if its hot. the fire is to heat the quarter to a glowing red. P.S. this is a chemistry class. if you go to there website, youll clearly see that.

    I'm going to guess the first boil is due to the quarter cooling off in the methanol, the second boil is due to a rapid oxidation reaction, the outer layer of the quarter is getting oxidized from whatever metal --> metal oxide... since this is exothermic it causes the methanol to boil a second time.