Science, Tech, Math › Science 10 Chemistry Questions You Should Be Able to Answer Share Flipboard Email Print Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 28, 2020 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. 01 of 10 Why Do Onions Make You Cry? Fuse/Getty Images Even better, know how to prevent the tears. 02 of 10 Why Does Ice Float? Dave Bartruff/Digital Vision/Getty Images 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? 03 of 10 What Is the Difference Between Radiation and Radioactivity? Caspar Benson / Getty Images You do realize not all radiation glows green and will mutate you, right? 04 of 10 How Does Soap Clean? Zara Ronchi / Getty Images 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? 05 of 10 What Common Chemicals Shouldn't Be Mixed? Adam Gault / Getty Images Do you know better than to mix bleach and ammonia or bleach and vinegar? What other everyday chemicals pose a hazard when combined? 06 of 10 Why Do Leaves Change Color? Shi Zheng / EyeEm / Getty Images 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? 07 of 10 Is It Possible to Turn Lead Into Gold? miljko/Getty Images First, you should know the answer is 'yes' and then be able to explain why it's completely impractical. 08 of 10 Why Do People Put Salt on Icy Roads? Topic Images Inc. / Getty Images Does it do any good? How does it work? Are all salts equally effective? 09 of 10 What Is Bleach? jeepersmedia/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 Do you know how bleach works? 10 of 10 What Are the Elements in the Human Body? Roy Scott / Getty Images 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.