Chemistry – Fun Animal Facts and Questions

Chemistry Fun Animal Facts :

  • Hot chilli peppers create a burning sensation due to a chemical molecule called capsaicin. While the molecule is an irritant to mammals including us humans, birds lack the receptor responsible for this effect so are immune to this burning sensation.
  • Goldfish can see visible light like us humans, but they can also perceive infrared and ultraviolet light.
  • Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.

Chemistry Questions you can test on your friends:

  1. What are the only two chemistry elements that are liquid at room temperature?
    Bromine and Mercury. Although gallium will melt from the heat of your hand.
  1. If you pour a handful of salt into a glass full of water, will the glass overflow?
    Surprisingly, no! The water level will actually go down! There will be roughly a 2.5 per cent reduction in volume.
  1. Roughly how much salt (NaCl) is in the average adult human body?
    About 250g.
  1. What do diamonds and lead pencils have in common?
    Lead pencil’s contain graphite which is a form of pure carbon like diamond.
  1. What is the only letter that doesn’t appear on the periodic table?
  1. What is the most abundant element in the universe?
  1. Are there more atoms in a bucket full of water or are there more bucketfuls of water in the Atlantic Ocean?
    There are more atoms in a bucket full of water.
  1. How much of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by the Amazon rainforest?
    About 20%
  1. What is the chemical formula for dry ice?
    Dry ice is actually solid carbon dioxide, so CO2.
  1. What is the rarest naturally occurring element in the Earth’s crust?
    Astatine, the entire Earth’s crust appears to only contain 28g of it.
  1. What colour is liquid oxygen?
  1. Will a stale egg float or sink in fresh water?
    A stale egg will float
  1. What is the acid in milk called?
    Lactic acid.
  1. Dilute acetic acid is found in almost every household kitchen. What is another name for it?
  2. How much does water expand by when freezing into ice?
    Water expands about 9% when it frozen into ice

by our tutor – Alex.

Top 10 Exam Tips

Generally speaking, the top ten things you should keep in mind as you do your exam:

  • Exam tip #1: Make it easy for the marker.
  • Exam tip #2: Use a black pen.
  • Exam tip #3: Write on one side of the page only.
  • Exam tip #4: Try to avoid writing extra pieces in margins that are linked by asterisks, arrows, etc.
  • Exam tip #5: Read and follow all key instructions. For example, if you are asked to provide a title to a response, than make sure you do.
  • Exam tip #6: Write in the correct genre/form and sustain it throughout. For example, if you are asked to write a speech, make sure it is clearly a speech from beginning to end. If you are asked to write a letter, make sure it has a salutation and address at the start, reads like a letter throughout the response and has a farewell or something similar at the end.
  • Exam tip #7: Try, as much as you can, to write clearly and legibly. Perhaps leave a line between paragraphs. Don’t be afraid of white space – it makes reading easier.
  • Exam tip #8: Practice the key conventions that demonstrate mastery of English: the correct use of apostrophe, the correct title conventions (either underlining or using inverted commas), the full use of a text’s title at least once and the correct spelling of key character names and composer’s names (at least).
  • Exam tip #9: If you have time during the exam, quickly proofread your work and check the pages are in the right order and that as many mistakes as you can find are corrected. (Examiners understand you are under pressure and that this is a first draft but demonstration of control of the key conventions is the mark of a more sophisticated response).
  • Exam tip #10: You may also be required to write a more personal response, which includes your ability to demonstrate you have reflected personally on the effect of studying a particular module or area of study. Think through how to do this.

This exam advice is general in nature and may need to be adapted for different subjects.

HSC Chemistry

Do you struggle with the difference between Lavoisier, Arrhenius and Davy or do chemical calculations always leave you stumped? Each week our tutors will address the main issues and calculations within each of the modules of the year 12 chemistry syllabus and also give advice on how to answer some of the extended response questions.

9.2 Production of Materials

Important issues which students normally forget to address:

  • The systematic name of polystyrene;
  • The structure of cellulose;
  • Why a catalyst is needed for the addition of water to ethylene in order to form ethanol;
  • The reasons underlying the multiple uses of ethanol as a solvent;
  • The use and development of biopolymers – remember that the syllabus asks you to analyse the progress of the biopolymer;
  • The proper construction of a galvanic cell – remember you need to label the cathode and anode (and what metal they are composed of), the solution used for the saltbridge and what the electrodes are sitting in, and the direction of the electron flow;
  • How commercial radioisotopes and transuranic elements are produced;
  • Recent discoveries of elements.


Molar Heat of Combustion – Process Use q=-mcΔt….where m is the mass of the water, c is the specific heat capacity of water (-4.18Jk-1g-1) and Δt is the change in temperature. Convert the value calculated into kJ by just dividing it by 1000. Find out the number of moles of the fuel used in the experiment. Divide the value (the one calculated in point 2) by the number of moles of the fuel. Remember to include the SI units in your final answer, i.e -1020kJ mol-1 and also that the answer is negative as the process is exothermic.

Past Questions

Our tutors will make any corrections and provide a proper approach to the questions. Explain why ethanol can dissolve a whole range of small substances such as salts, polar molecules and even non-polar molecules to a small extent. Analyse progress in the development and use of a named biopolymer. This analysis should name the specific enzyme(s) used or organism used to synthesise the material and an evaluation of the use or potential use of the polymer produced related to its properties.