Getting Cold

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Just as some chemical reactions produce heat, many chemical combinations absorb heat. In “Getting Cold,” the Beauty of Science team demonstrates this by showing endothermic processes in both visible and infrared light. Combinations that appear humdrum from our normal perspective suddenly become vibrant and interesting when we see the temperature variations accompanying them. 

Evaporation is a good example. As humans, we sweat so that when our sweat evaporates off our skin, it takes heat away with it. Water (the main ingredient in sweat) isn’t the fastest evaporating liquid, however. Here it’s shown alongside ethyl acetate, a common ingredient in nail polish remover. And anyone who’s used nail polish remover is familiar with the chill it leaves behind as it evaporates. Just look how much colder and darker it is when evaporating! (Video and image credit: Beauty of Science)

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