The Silver Tree
I’ve changed an iron paper clip to copper. Now let’s change copper to silver. As said on my post (it finally came 2) the silver nitrate is only 10 grams and it’s about $20. 10 grams is a little amount and it is very expensive, so I hope I don’t make any mistakes. The classic silver tree demonstration! Very simple to set up and perform, it’s great to introduce kids to the world of chemistry.
Warning: silver nitrate is a dangerous chemical. Make sure to wear gloves.
Things you’ll need: copper wire, silver nitrate, a beaker, and distilled water.
- Pour 120 ml of distilled water into the beaker.
- Pour about 4 grams of silver nitrate into the beaker.
- Make a copper coil by wrapping copper wire around something round and taking it out. Put the copper coil into the beaker.
As you could see the reaction has started.
The more silver nitrate you add, the quicker the reaction starts.
Silver Crystals are covering the copper. It looks very pretty.
Prettiest experiment I ever performed.
This experiment is very easy to setup and very fun for kids.
You can keep going, but the more you wait, the more crystals will grow and turn blacker because when silver nitrate absorbs light, it will turn black. Now the silver nitrate is turning into silver metal.
Now I’m going to filter the silver metal out and see what comes out.
I got the silver metal. Put in a bottle to preserve it.
The silver nitrate is in solution and the metallic copper will dissolve to form copper nitrate; as it does so, the silver in solution will be precipitated out as metallic silver. That is, the silver in solution is exchanged for copper and the copper that is not in solution is substituted for silver. Hope this makes sense!
Cu(0) + 2AgNO3 = Cu(NO3)2 + Ag(0)