Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gold Penny Demo - 2009

Today we made Gold! Not really. We took a penny made before 1982 and cleaned it. We next put it into a heated bath of sodium hydroxide and zinc. When the penny came out, it was silver. Next, the kids dried off the penny and using long tongs, heated it in the Bunsen burner until it turned a gold color. They then plunged it into cold water. Gold!
What we really produced was a brass coated penny. The silver coating on the penny is plating of sodium zincate. The heat causes a fusion between copper and zinc to form the brass alloy.
Photos by Quillen.

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