Chemical Demonstrations On


Volume 5

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Color, Light,
Vision, Perception

This new volume brings color and light to the forefront, describing demonstrations that effectively communicate science both to students and to general audiences. Bassam Shakhashiri and his collaborators Rodney Schreiner and Jerry Bell provide detailed instructions both for displaying colorful phenomena and illustrating scientific principles, and they describe what happens when visual information enters the human eye and is perceived by the brain.
With over 50 demonstrations and multiple procedures this volume sets new goals and expectations for arousing and sustaining interest in chemical transformations. Also included is a rich introductory section that explains the science of color and light and outlines the chemical processes of vision and the effects of visual stimuli that lead to perception.
Each demonstration includes seven sections: a brief summary, a materials list, a step-by-step account of procedures to be used, an explanation of the hazards involved, information on how to store or dispose of the chemicals used, a discussion of the phenomena displayed and principles illustrated by the demonstration, and a list of references. As in all volumes in the series, this book aims to communicate chemistry by using pedagogical knowledge to enhance effectiveness of classroom and public presentations.

The book was published in February 2011 by the University of Wisconsin Press.


Volume 5 is dedicated to:

Ron Perkins

Ron Perkins,
for his educational innovations in and out of the high school classroom—a teacher for us all,

and to

With Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks,
a chemist at heart, for making me aware
of the complexity of memory, emotions,
and the brain, and helping me to
understand myself and to explain
our beautiful chemical world.

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri


"guidance for performing classroom demonstrations in a safe, dynamic,
and instructive manner" more

"a blueprint for success in presenting
chemical demonstrations" more

"especially valuable for new teachers looking for an authoritative source for reliable and meaningful demonstrations" more

"a must for the classroom, library, and chemistry club at both the high school and collegiate levels" more

"extremely classroom-friendly" more

"sure to be another milestone in the history
of chemical education" more

"the quintessential resource that every
chemistry department may rely upon" more

"helped innumerable times to inspire and
engage our [museum] visitors through the
beauty and wonders of chemistry" more

"Volume 5 is beautifully designed and the explanations are absolutely excellent."
Henry A. Bent, Professor Emeritus,
University of Pittsburgh Dept. of Chemistry

"I can see how these books must make a major contribution to science education, and I want to congratulate you on the great job you have done." more

"very classical to innovative approaches, but always illustrative, very expressive and presented with great and communicative humour and fun" more


Reception Reception Cake

View the Informational Flyer (2.39MB PDF)


For more information contact
Contents of Volume 1 Contents of Volume 2 Contents of Volume 3 Contents of Volume 4