Science, Tech, Math › Science 10 Cool Chemistry Experiments Share Flipboard Email Print ThoughtCo / Hilary Allison Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table 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 February 20, 2020 Chemistry is king when it comes to making science cool. There are many interesting and fun projects to try, but these 10 awesome chemistry experiments can make anyone enjoy science. 01 of 10 Copper and Nitric Acid Public domain/Wikimedia Commons When you place a piece of copper in nitric acid, the Cu2+ ions and nitrate ions coordinate to color the solution green and then brownish-green. If you dilute the solution, water displaces nitrate ions around the copper and the solution changes to blue. 02 of 10 Hydrogen Peroxide with Potassium Iodide Jasper White, Getty Images Affectionately known as elephant toothpaste, the chemical reaction between the peroxide and potassium iodide shoots out a column of foam. If you add food coloring, you can customize the "toothpaste" for holiday-colored themes. 03 of 10 Any Alkali Metal in Water Andy Crawford and Tim Ridley / Getty Images Any of the alkali metals will react vigorously in water. How vigorously? Sodium burns bright yellow. Potassium burns violet. Lithium burns red. Cesium explodes. Experiment by moving down the alkali metals group of the periodic table. 04 of 10 Thermite Reaction nanoqfu / Getty Images The thermite reaction essentially shows what would happen if iron rusted instantly, rather than over time. In other words, it's making metal burn. If the conditions are right, just about any metal will burn. However, the reaction usually is performed by reacting iron oxide with aluminum: Fe2O3 + 2Al → 2Fe + Al2O3 + heat and light If you want a truly stunning display, try placing the mixture inside a block of dry ice and then lighting the mixture. 05 of 10 Coloring Fire SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images When ions are heated in a flame, electrons become excited, then drop to a lower energy state, emitting photons. The energy of the photons is characteristic of the chemical and corresponds to specific flame colors. It's the basis for the flame test in analytical chemistry, plus it's fun to experiment with different chemicals to see what colors they produce in a fire. 06 of 10 Make Polymer Bouncy Balls mikroman6 / Getty Images Who doesn't enjoy playing with bouncy balls? The chemical reaction used to make the balls makes a terrific experiment because you can alter the properties of the balls by changing the ratio of the ingredients. 07 of 10 Make a Lichtenberg Figure Bert Hickman, Stoneridge Engineering A Lichtenberg figure or "electrical tree" is a record of the path taken by electrons during an electrostatic discharge. It's basically frozen lightning. There are several ways you can make an electrical tree. 08 of 10 Experiment with 'Hot Ice' Henry Mühlfpordt Hot Ice is a name given to sodium acetate, a chemical you can make by reacting vinegar and baking soda. A solution of sodium acetate can be supercooled so that it will crystallize on command. Heat is evolved when the crystals form, so although it resembles water ice, it's hot. 09 of 10 Barking Dog Experiment Tobias Abel, Creative Commons The Barking Dog is the name given to a chemiluminescent reaction between the exothermic reaction between nitrous oxide or nitrogen monoxide and carbon disulfide. The reaction proceeds down a tube, emitting blue light and a characteristic "woof" sound. Another version of the demonstration involves coating the inside of a clear jug with alcohol and igniting the vapor. The flame front proceeds down the bottle, which also barks. 10 of 10 Dehydration of Sugar Peretz Partensky, Creative Commons When you react sugar with sulfuric acid, the sugar is violently dehydrated. The result is a growing column of carbon black, heat, and the overwhelming odor of burnt caramel.