Kitchen Chemistry

Test your chemistry knowledge with these kitchen-themed questions from St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group.

Q: How radioactive is a banana?

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Q: What is the main process happening when cooking or frying fish? And what other method, without applying heat, would give a decent meal?

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Q: Brew kettles are made from copper. After time corrosion takes place, and at certain spots the kettle is fixed with smaller copper plates, which are held in place by copper rivets. Can one save money by fixing the kettle with much cheaper iron or at least iron rivets?

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Q: Does the level of water in a glass of water go down or up if you pour a handful of salt into it?

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Teachers we want to hear from you too if you want to get involved and set some questions of your own – email inspire@sjc.ox.ac.uk.