Visualizing Dissolution, Ion Mobility, and Precipitation through a Low-Cost, Rapid-Reaction Activity Introducing Microscale Precipitation Chemistry

Bob Worley, Eric Villa, Jess M. Gunn, Bruce M. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


We describe here an activity that enables students to visualize the dissolution process, ion mobility, and precipitation on a microscale level, all in 30 s. A small puddle of water consisting of approximately 10 drops is placed on a plastic sheet cover. Two small crystals of water-soluble salts are transferred by toothpicks and simultaneously introduced to the puddle from opposite sides. Within 30 s, a precipitate forms where the two ionic solutions meet and the result usually looks somewhat like a cat's eye marble. A significant feature of this activity is that it uses a minimum amount of resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-954
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of chemical education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 14 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

Cite this