Turning Copper Into Gold

No kidding! You’ll be able to show your friends this super-cool magic show chemistry trick with very little fuss (once you get the hang of it). This experiment is for advanced students. Before we start, here are a few notes about the setup to keep you safe and your nasal passages intact:

The chemicals required for this experiment are toxic! This is not an experiment to do with little kids or pets around, and you want to do the entire experiment outside or next to an open window for good ventilation, as the fumes from the sodium hydroxide/zinc solution should not be inhaled.

This experiment is not dangerous when you follow the steps I’ve outlined carefully. I’ll take you step by step and show you how to handle the chemicals, mix them properly, and dispose of the waste when you’re done.

Goggles and gloves are a MUST for this experiment, as the sodium hydroxide (in both liquid and solid form) is caustic and corrosive and will burn your skin on contact.

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3 Responses to “Turning Copper Into Gold”
  1. karenketzner says:

    That was a really cool experiment. Thanks!

  2. Aurora says:

    Do you know the reason it was recommended to add them in this order?

    In this case, the sodium hydroxide is solid. Adding it to the water could splash, which you don’t want. Also, in this instance we are adding it to zinc powder and sodium hydroxide, not just sodium hydroxide by alone.

  3. Marisa Corless says:

    I make soap and have always been taught to never put water into sodium hydroxide, rather sodium hydroxide should be put into the water. Why do you say to put the water into the sodium hydroxide?

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