A couple of things that are quite fun to try on a dragging afternoon in the lab:
- Explain how a laboratory centrifuge works without using the term “centrifugal force”.
- Give a proper explanation why and how a cooling mixture of dry ice (CO2(s)) in isopropyl alcohol works pretty good while dry ice in water gives a rather poor coolant.
- Determine if (or under which circumstances) it is a good idea to externally warm a fractionating column including a Vigreux condenser with a fan.
- Think of what is going on when the temperature of an oil bath of a distilling apparatus is increased while it is already above the boiling point of the liquid inside.
- Give proper explanation of the processes linked to a rotary evaporator. (Pressure is of special interest.)
- Pour ether on your desk and set it on fire.