According to an NBC news articles, over 15,000 lives in the U.S. have been saved because of airbags. The airbag and its trusty companion, the seat belt, together have been the two most important safety enhances in the history of the automobile.  Let’s take a look at the science behind the airbag.

The airbag is activated in a crash.  A sensor is calibrated to judge when the car is in a rapid deceleration, or a in a crash.  It then releases a spark which ignites sodium azide, which releases nitrogen gas, inflating the bag.  This I happens in a fraction of a second.  The reaction is a demonstration of Charles’s law, which states that an increase in temperature will cause an increase in volume.

The airbag allows the driver a cushion when flung forward in a crash.  Instead of bumping into the wheel, the airbag helps lessen the impact of the collision.  However, airbags are not without risks.  If the airbag is too powerful, its inflation can injure or kill children and small adults.  That is why children should not be allowed in the front seat until they pass a certain weight and height.  In California, for example, children must be past seven years and 57 inches.

Check out this site for a video of the future of automobile technology.



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Last 3 Questions Of the Year!!!!! (12-13-13)

Since this the last 3 question of the year I’ll discuss what I learned over the course of the year

    • What tasks have you completed recently? 
    • What have you learned recently?
    • What are you planning on doing next?
  1. So, recently I have survived Ms. Gardner’s class again.  I don’t know if that was a task, but my grade didn’t drop too low during the class.  Comparing myself now to freshman year, there are a lot of differences.  Freshman year, I was extremely dedicated and took the class very seriously.  The blogs and online homework were intimidating, but I powered through them.  This year, I’ll admit I was a little surprised by the difficulty.  Had I really gotten that soft and lazy since freshman year?  The second time around, I was better prepared for the class, but the rest of my coursework was more challenging and demanding.  So I’ll admit that I put less time and effort into this year than freshman year.  This class was interesting, every time I thought I had it under control, I became complacent and focused on other classes.  That is probably the reason I have a borderline A-.  One thing that’s going to bite me in the back is settling for less.  I have become so used to putting in minimal effort and scraping by with an A I have continued to lower the bar for myself.  The beginning of freshman year I had a high A.  I don’t think the course work has become more rigorous, I’ve just figured out how to pass a class with minimal effort.  If I want to succeed in life, I need to up the ante.
  2. So chemistry was the beginning of an awakening for me.  I’m starting to realize just how vast the human body of knowledge is.  How in the world do people discover this stuff?  The atom wasn’t discovered overnight.  There has always seemed (to me) to be a disconnect between I am capable of and the technological world around us.  How in world did we make flashing screens? Sure you can be like “um you program it”, but that’s like telling me it fell out of the sky. the laptop I’m typing right now would have been considered witchcraft 400 years ago, supernatural 200 years ago, and not of planet Earth 20 years ago.  TWENTY YEARS.  That’s like, almost when I was born! (I feel old..)  In twenty years this laptop will be ancient, kinda depressing.  Now, I realize that in order to contribute to the scientific body of knowledge, you have to know your field of study like the back of your hand. 
  3. Next I plan on studying calculus homework.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  Those integrals won’t derive themselves.   Actually they kinda do…
By aandre15


Despite their seemingly random effects, explosions are actually predicable chemical reactions.  The website used as the primary source for this blog, emphasizes the importance of planning and data to achieve a desired result.

Thermodynamics is the key to an explosion.  It is crucial to know exactly how much energy is released.  Explosions are exothermic reactions, a endothermic reaction (requiring energy) would serve little purpose.  In mining, a too powerful explosion can threaten the safety of humans in the area.  A weak explosion would fail to expose the desired substances.  Blasting professional must have an estimate of a substance’s heat capacity.  The same explosion won’t yield the same result if the blasted substances are different.  Enthalpy is a useful statistic to know, because if too much energy is released, it can cause the following explosions to be triggered in a unwanted, perhaps dangerous way.  However, it seems that what really mattered to the blasting professionals was the energy released as a vibration.  Although vibrations haven’t yet been discussed in class, the vibration energy is still linked to thermodynamics and the total enthalpy of the system.

Did you know Mount Rushmore was crafted using explosives? See this link.


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3 Questions 12-6-13

1. Recently I have drafted part of my essay for English.  It is over the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  It has been an interesting read, and the protagonist, Pip, is a likeable character.  He is poor, and his ambitions for a better life is something we all strive for.

2.  Recently I have learned about the enthalpy of fusion when matter changes state.  It’s interesting how much energy is used to change an objects state of matter.

3. Next I plan on starting blog 10. I plan for it to have plenty of multimedia and I will promptly respond to comments on the blog.


By aandre15

3 Questions 11-29-13

1. Recently I have learned that I have made All-state.  It was a lot of hard work but it paid off in the end.  If you set your mind to something.  You can achieve it.

2.  Recently I have learned about integrals in calculus.  I can now find the area under a line.  Hooray!

3. Next I plan on drafting some of my essay for my essay in Mrs. Hansen’s class.  The sooner I do it, the better.

By aandre15

Who cares about Titration?

Simply put, titration is a method used to the determine the concentration, (molarity) of a solution.

A typical titration would start with a known quantity of an acid or base solution in a beaker, but the concentration of the solution would be unknown.  Next, a buret would be filled with an acid or base solution of a known concentration.  If the beaker’s solution was basic, the buret’s would be acidic, and vice versa.  Finally, an indicator is added to beaker solution.  The indicator will change color when the equivalence point is reached.  Then the titration begins.

Solution is released from the buret until the beaker solution changes color, typically a dull pink.  Then the amount of solution used in the buret is recorded.  Using the equation VANA = VBNB , where V is volume, N is molarity, and A and B are acids and bases respectively.  The molarity of the beaker solution can be calculated.

This is possible because acids and bases cancel each other out, and there is a point where they cancel out perfectly, the equivalence point.  To figure out the concentration of citric acid in fruit juice, you would perform this process, making sure a basic solution is used in the buret.


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“Cool” Chemical Reactions

I find it ironic that an article titled “chemical reactions” actually had demonstrations that were not technically chemical reactions.  I suppose “Cool things that have to do with chemistry” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

(I’ll be going in reverse order, click here to see the original article)

  1. This one was a chemical reaction, the constant changing of color was due to the varying levels of the compounds in the solution.  The equation summarizing this would be IO3 + 2H2O2 + CH2(COOH)2 + H+ → ICH(COOH)2 + 2O2 + 3H2O.  This is a complex redox reaction.
  2. The ignition of the thermite is a reaction. Fe2O3 + 2Al → 2Fe + Al2O3 + heat and light.  It is a single replacement reaction, and the Iron is reduced.  However, the reaction with the liquid nitrogen was just a display to if the temperatures canceled out, rather than a chemical reaction.
  3. This is not a reaction, a change in the state of matter is not a chemical reaction.  If the helium was heated, it would still be helium
  4. Once again, not a reaction, because the Sulfur hexaflouride’s chemical makeup remains the same, despite its zany effects on human vocal chords.
  5. Just because a compound is absorbent, doesn’t mean there is a chemical change.  It is a little like an aqueous solution.  The water remained water throughout the video.
  6. This one was tricky, because the sodium acetate dissociated into the water solution.  Therefore, no chemical reaction took place.
  7. Not a reaction, the demonstration only took advantage of diamagnetism, a physical property.
  8. This was a decomposition reaction.  Oxygen gas was released and oxidized.  2KClO3(heat) → 2KCl + 3O2
  9. This was obviously a reaction.  The magnesium reacted with the oxygen in the carbon dioxide.  In the combustion reaction, the magnesium was oxidized.  2Mg + CO→ 2MgO + C
  10. This demonstration consisted two reactions.  The first was with the sodium and water.  It was a redox reaction, and the sodium was oxidized.  2Na +  2H2O → 2NaOH  +  H2   The heat from the first reaction triggered the second reaction with the sodium and chloride.  The second one was a combination reaction.  2Na  +  Cl2 → 2NaCl

Personally, my favorite reaction was with the Potassium chlorate and the gummy bear (#8).  I felt a combination of dread and amusement as I watched the gummy bear’s demise in the merciless inferno of chemical doom.


Want more cool chemical reactions? Check our this link!

3 Questions 11-22-13

1. Today I went on a field trip for band.  The purpose of the trip was to encourage involvement in the music programs at Mayfield.  Overall it was very fun and I’m glad I went.

2. Recently I have learned that in order to become good at something, you have to make a conscious effort to practice and become better.

3. Next I plan on attending the football game.  GO TROJANS!

By aandre15

3 Questions 11-15-13

1.  Recently I finished one of my math assignments.  The last problems were challenging, but now I understand how to maximize the profit in a business model.

2. I have just learned about redox reactions in science class.  Honestly, they weren’t as complicated as I was expecting.

3. After this, I plan on redoing some flipped questions and updating my lab notebook.

By aandre15

3 Questions 11-8-13

1.  Recently, I have finished the flipped 4.1 and 4.2 questions.  I wrote down the notes, and honestly can say that I was better able to participate in class because of them.

2. I have learned about net ionic equations.  I think their cool because they are a neat way to show exactly how compounds dissolve.

3.  Later, I plan on finishing the homework assigned today in science class.  I need the practice.

By aandre15