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  1. Being this sub has turned more into yet another sub for hosting “neat gifs” as opposed to actually talking about the SCIENCE behind the posts, I decided to explain.

    This is called the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction and is a type of non-equilibrium thermodynamic reaction.

    In this reaction, NileRed uses water, concentrated sulfuric acid, sodium bromate, malonic acid, sodium bromide, and phenanthroline ferrous sulfate.

    The color change is due to the cerium(IV) ions being reduced by malonic acid to cerium(III) ions, which are then oxidized back to cerium(IV) ions by bromate(V) ions.
    Though this is extremely simplified because the actual reaction is something like 18 steps.

    There’s a LOT more to this and the history about the dude who discovered it is kinda sad b/c they wouldn’t let him publish his findings at first. Belousov discovered it in 1951 and the west never heard about it until some meeting in Prague 1968. 🙁

    You can find a ton more info about this on the net.
    [This site](http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Belousov-Zhabotinsky_reaction) explains things extremely well.

  2. I love demos like this because they show how chemistry general works out in the real world. We think about chemistry in this type of idealized test tube with perfect conditions and being completely homogeneous all the time. These examples show the reaction start points and how that wave travels out down the concentration gradient from the reactions initial point. SO cool

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