10 Chemistry Questions You Should Be Able to Answer

If you study physics, you should be able to explain why the sky is blue. If biology is your thing, you ought to be able to answer where babies come from. Chemistry doesn't have any great standard questions, but there are some everyday phenomena you should be able to explain.

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Why Do Onions Make You Cry?

Man crying while chopping onions
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Even better, know how to prevent the tears.

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Why Does Ice Float?

Moutains and Ice Floating on the Sea, Glacier Bay National Park, USA
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If ice didn't float, lakes and rivers would freeze from the bottom up, basically causing them to solidify. Do you know why solid ice is less dense than the liquid?

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What Is the Difference Between Radiation and Radioactivity?

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You do realize not all radiation glows green and will mutate you, right?

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How Does Soap Clean?

A bar of white soap with soap suds on it
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You can wet your hair all you want, but that won't get it clean. Do you know why soap works? Do you know how detergents work?

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What Common Chemicals Shouldn't Be Mixed?

Scientist holding bottle with toxic label
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Do you know better than to mix bleach and ammonia or bleach and vinegar? What other everyday chemicals pose a hazard when combined?

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Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Close-Up of maple leaves
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Chlorophyll is the pigment in plants that makes them appear green, but it isn't the only pigment that is present. Do you know what affects the apparent color of leaves?

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Is It Possible to Turn Lead Into Gold?

Raw gold from mine in bowl

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First, you should know the answer is 'yes' and then be able to explain why it's completely impractical.

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Why Do People Put Salt on Icy Roads?

Salt, ice crystal
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Does it do any good? How does it work? Are all salts equally effective?

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What Is Bleach?

Bottles of bleach

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Do you know how bleach works?

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What Are the Elements in the Human Body?

Geometric pattern over male human body silhouettes
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No, you don't need to be able to list every single one. You ought to be able to name the top three without thinking. It's good to know the top six.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "10 Chemistry Questions You Should Be Able to Answer." ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/chemistry-questions-you-should-be-able-to-answer-604318. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, October 29). 10 Chemistry Questions You Should Be Able to Answer. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/chemistry-questions-you-should-be-able-to-answer-604318 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "10 Chemistry Questions You Should Be Able to Answer." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/chemistry-questions-you-should-be-able-to-answer-604318 (accessed June 4, 2023).