The University of Wisconsin Press

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Chemical Demonstrations, Volume 5
A Handbook for Teachers of Chemistry
Bassam Z. Shakhashiri

“The most comprehensive set of chemical demonstrations handbooks ever created.”
——Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Color and light are the focus of this long-awaited fifth volume in the Chemical Demonstrations series, which describes demonstrations that effectively communicate science to both students and general audiences. Using full-color illustrations, the book provides meticulous instructions for safely demonstrating colorful phenomena and illustrating scientific principles. A rich introductory section explores the science of color and light, outlines the chemical processes of vision, and explains what happens when visual information enters the human eye and is perceived by the brain. With more than fifty demonstrations and multiple procedures included, this volume offers abundant opportunities to arouse and sustain interest in science for both classroom and public presentations.

Each demonstration includes:
• a brief description of the demonstration
• a materials list
• a step-by-step account of procedures to be used
• an explanation of the potential hazards involved
• information on safely storing and disposing the chemicals used
• a full discussion of the phenomena displayed and principles illustrated
• a list of references.

Created by acclaimed chemists and science educators Bassam Shakhashiri and his collaborators Rodney Schreiner and Jerry Bell, these demonstrations make an impressive addition to the earlier volumes, which have been lauded for guiding teachers and scientists in effectively communicating science. Like all volumes in the series, Volume 5 communicates chemistry using pedagogical knowledge to enhance the effectiveness of demonstrations to all audiences.

Photo of author Bassam Shakhashiri doing a demonstration.Bassam Z. Shakhashiri is professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and founder of the Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) and the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL). He formerly served as assistant director for science and engineering education at the National Science Foundation.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Follow this link for a table of contents.

Of Related Interest
Chemical Demonstrations,
Volumes 1
, 2, 3, and 4

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri

The cover of Chemical Demonstrations 5 is a hugely magnified photo of water droplets, with text.

February 2011

408 pp.   8 1/2 x 11    75 color illus.

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Cloth $45.00 a
ISBN 978-0-299-22650-3
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• Visit Professor Shakhashiri’s “Science Is Fun” site at

• The Science is Fun YouTube channel is a good resource for Professor Shakhashiri's videos.

Chemical Demonstrations, Volumes 1–4 have sold more than 75,000 copies




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Updated August 29, 2011

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