Distributed Block - View: Magazine: Latest Cover

2/20 cover

Eureka! Lab

A place for discovery 
Bethany Brookshire

Eureka! Lab

Scientists Say: Precipitation

In chemistry, this word describes a solid coming out of a liquid

Eureka! Lab
precipitation

When a copper wire is placed in a silver solution, a chemical reaction takes place. The silver precipitates out and sticks to the wire.

Toby Hudson/Wikimedia Commons/( CC BY-SA 3.0)

Precipitation (verb, “Pre-SIP-ih-TAY-shun”, noun, “precipitate”)

In chemistry, precipitation is the formation of a solid out of a liquid solution. A solution is a liquid where one chemical has been dissolved into another so that the chemical is spread equally through the fluid. But when there is too much of the chemical present to dissolve, some of it might remain solid and settle out. This is the precipitate. A chemical reaction also could cause a precipitate to form.

Precipitation has another use. In meteorology — the study of weather — precipitation just means water released from a cloud. It can be rain, sleet, snow or hail.

In a sentence

A new technique uses electricity to get the salt out of water, instead of relying on precipitation.

Follow Eureka! Lab on Twitter

Power Words

(for more about Power Words, click here)

dissolve  To turn a solid into a liquid and disperse it into that starting liquid. For instance, sugar or salt crystals (solids) will dissolve into water. Now the crystals are gone and the solution is a fully dispersed mix of the liquid form of the sugar or salt in water.

meteorology   (adj. meteorological) The study of weather as it pertains to future projects or an understanding of long-term trends (climate). People who work in this field are called meteorologists.

precipitation  (In chemistry) The creation of a solid from a solution. This can occur if there is too much of a chemical to dissolve completely in a solution. It also can be a sign a chemical reaction is taking place.  (In meteorology) A word used to describe water falling from the sky. It can be in any form, from rain to sleet, snow or hail.

solution   A liquid in which one chemical has been dissolved into another.

Readability Score: 
Sticky: 
0
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, February 1, 2016
band
When you can’t carry a tune, you might have amusia, a brain disorder where people can’t tell one note from another.
By Bethany Brookshire 1:00pm, January 27, 2016
thing explainer
Many people think that big scientific concepts require big, complex words. A new book shows that — in some cases — simple words work just as well.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, January 25, 2016
tea
In math, this is just the answer to your problem. In chemistry, this word means something else entirely.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, January 18, 2016
chocolate
Bases are chemicals that contain negatively charged chemical groups made from oxygen and hydrogen. They lend coffee its bitter flavor and have pH rankings higher than 7.0.
By Bethany Brookshire 10:39am, January 15, 2016
Lego scientist
When students draw a scientist, they rely on messages from textbooks and other media. Now do your own version of the experiment and see if your results match.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, January 11, 2016
lemon
When a chemical tastes sour, ranks below 7.0 on the pH scale and has many hydrogen ions in its solution, it gets a special name.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, January 4, 2016
mutated flowers
Information in an organism is stored in a code. Here’s the word scientists use to describe a change in that code.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, December 28, 2015
hair
Keratin is a fibrous protein that gives our nails and hair their strength.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, December 21, 2015
Soy Sauce
What’s the word for something savory? Umami is a taste, and is often described as being meaty.
By Bethany Brookshire 7:00am, December 16, 2015
ion game
Science-themed gifts can be a lot of fun. These offer experiences that entertain and teach.
Subscribe to RSS - Eureka! Lab

From the SSP Newsroom

Science News

Loading...

Science News for Students

Loading...

Eureka! Lab

Loading...