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Science Lab Experiment: Copper Penny

Demonstration: Copper Penny and Acetone

Object: To find out what happens to a heated copper penny, when suspended above acetone.

Materials: copper penny with hole, copper wire, beaker, acetone (25 ml), matches, pencil, glass rod, propane torch

copper penny

Method: The copper penny was heated in the flame from the propane torch. About 25 ml acetone was added to the beaker and the heated coin was then suspended just above the acetone.

Observations: It was noted that as the penny heated in the f1ame, it turned from b1ack to deep purple, light purple, dark red to red, to orange. It also became shiny in appearance, where the flame touched it directly. When away from the f1ame it turned black. When suspended again above the acetone, the coin again changed colours as it heated to bright orange. The acetone had an odour.

Conclusions: As the flames from the acetone rose to the hot coin, they were heated and burned. This caused the coin to become hot and change colours.