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ERIC Number: ED524799
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
Physical and Chemical Change: The Long History of the Iron Filings and Sulfur Experiment
Palmer, W. P.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Conference (3rd, Minneapolis, MN, Oct 29-Nov 2, 1995)
As a part of a doctoral thesis considering the history of teaching physical and chemical change, 641 chemistry/science textbooks have currently been examined. These books are from many different countries and date from the eighteenth century to the present time. The books have described a wide variety of experiments to illustrate the difference between physical and chemical change. This paper will look briefly at these and show that the heating of iron filings and sulfur to form iron II sulfide was and still is a very popular experiment. The paper will then will focus on the history of this experiment. Some of the anomalies and wrong conclusions that relate to the experiment will be explored, as will its safety and practicality. A simple experiment that has not been used in textbooks for more than 60 years is described as an alternative to the standard experiment. This will indicate that it is possible to learn from the past. [This paper was published in: "Proceedings of the Third International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Conference," Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Volume 2, 29th October-2nd November, pp. 939-949.]
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom; United States