Wednesday 13 September 2017

Reshuffling Molecules

Ever broken an egg before? Notice the soft, transparent, slimy part? This is called the albumen, which contains a lot of proteins; in fact, it has over 10 different kinds of proteins that are very beneficial to our bodies. But what happens when you heat egg in a pan? 

The molecules of proteins can be arranged in different forms. The arrangements of these molecules are determined by the type of bonds that hold them up together. Imagine weaving or bonding pieces of thread into cloth. And then, this piece of cloth can be turned into a shirt with more stitching or bonding. 

What happens when you heat up the egg white is that some bonds are broken, and the molecules are rearranged. This new structure is more stable than the raw egg white. 

The same thing also happens when you heat up butter. Butter is in solid form because of bonds that hold them close together. But these bonds are broken when given heat and the molecules rearrange themselves in the form of oil, which is a liquid form. When you introduce hydrogen molecules into peanut oil, the molecules of the oil will be rearranged, and you get peanut butter! 

Water in its solid form is called ice. The molecules are packed tightly together and are held by many bonds. These bonds, however, will be broken by heat and the water molecules start to become loose. The ice will eventually lose its shape and turn into a liquid form.

When you heat up lemon juice, it will turn brown because the molecules are rearranged with oxygen molecules. This is the explanation for the experiment below. 


Experiment: To make invisible ink

lemons, cotton buds or paintbrush, white paper, electric iron, ironing board.

1.    Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out into a container.
2.    Dip the cotton bud or paintbrush into the lemon juice and use it to write your name on a piece of clean white paper. Repeat this 3 times.
3.    Allow the paper to dry.
4.    Once dried, iron over the paper until you see your name appear in brown. 

Glossary of Terms:
Albumen [al-byoo-muhn] the white of an egg.
Bond [bond] something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together.
Molecule [mol-uh-kyool] the smallest unit of an element or compound.

Shared by Surain A. Victor
Guest Blogger

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