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  1. First, sodium passes through the kerosene layer, which it does not react with, but then it touches the water layer and it reacts with water to produce hydrogen and sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide changes the pH of the lower liquid layer, the indicator dyes the solution in its color. Phenolphthalein in the alkaline environment becomes pink and thymolphthalein becomes blue. A piece of sodium, in this case, starts to jump during hydrogen formed in the reaction with water. In the upper layer, the reaction does not occur since sodium is not reacting with kerosene.

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  2. So in most instances that I’ve seen sodium reacting with water without an organic layer over top, it’s super exothermic and makes the fun lil explosions we love and cherish. Is the amount of time it interacts with the water layer too brief to generate enough energy to cause the kerosene to explode? Is it just enough energy to make it dance up and down?

  3. Why doesn’t the sodium escape the kerosene layer when it jumps up? It looks like it has the momentum to, but then hard stops just below the surface.

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