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All elements are pure substances, but not all pure substances are elements.  Gold is an element and a pure substance.  Water is not an element, because it is a compound.  However, it is a pure substance because you can have an entire glass of water and it's all H2O. 
Posted by pwilson  On Nov 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM
As a substance is in the middle of a phase change, the temperature will remain the same.  Only when the entire phase change is completed, will the temperature change.  For example, water freezes at 0 degrees Celcius.  As it begins to freeze, the temperature will stay at 0 degrees until the entire change from liquid to solid occurs.
Posted by pwilson  On Nov 08, 2012 at 1:12 PM
Charles's Law will be demonstrate in our next lab on Nov 2nd and 5th, 2012 in "The Can Crusher".  We will create a high temperature gas, then cool it instantly.  This will change the pressure on the inside of the can from high to low.  The atmospheric pressure on the outside will now be greater then the inside and crush the can.  Science is cool!!!
Posted by pwilson  On Nov 01, 2012 at 10:32 AM 19 Comments
Popcorn pops because of a combination of temperature, pressure, and phase change.  When the temperature increases, the liquid water inside the kernal changes to a gas.   Since water in it's gaseous state expands, the pressure inside the kernel increases.  This makes the pressure inside the kernel greater then the pressure outside, and voila - you have popcorn!
Posted by pwilson  On Oct 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM