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The reaction between zinc and sulfur is a simple combination reaction. However, when performed in the lab, it produces some dramatic results. The video below contains the reaction demonstrated three times at different times to different classes.

The questions:

  1. Give the equation for the reaction.
  2. Why did the reaction result in a flare?
  3. What would determine the size of the flare?
  4. What ratio would you combine the two reactants to produce the biggest flare? Why?
  5. Design an investigation to test your answer to question 4. Details of how the data collected will be analyzed must also be provided.

Concepts involved:

  • rate of reaction, energetics, exothermic, expansion.

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