1. Gunshot in Bambi
In Walt Disney’s Bambi, the death of Bambi’s mother by gunshot is a chemical reaction. Bambi and his mother make their way to a field so that they may feed on grass in an open field. They hear gun shots in the distance, and Bambi’s mother tells him to run. A final, louder, gunshot sounds out, but Bambi keeps running because his mother told him not to look back. When he reaches their cave, he realizes that his mother is not behind him. She is not there because she was killed by the final gunshot. In order for a bullet to be fired, a certain chemical reaction must occur. The firing pin in a gun must strike the primer of the bullet, which ignites the gun powder. The powder burning creates expanding gases, which then create a huge amount of pressure. This pressure, trapped at the end of the bullet, forces the bullet out of its casing and accelerates it down the barrel. Although various types of gunpowder will lead to a different chemical reaction, this is one possible chemical formula for the reaction that took place when the gun shot that killed Bambi’s mother occurred: 2 KNO3 + S + 3 C → K2S + N2 + 3 CO2.
Bambi. Dir. James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, and Norman Wright. By Felix Salten. Adapt. Larry Morrey. Prod. Walt Disney. Buena Vista, 2005. DVD.
2. Dynamite Explosion in Lost
In season one, episode twenty-four of Lost, Dr. Leslie Artz is killed by a dynamite explosion. Dr. Artz, Jack, Kate, and Locke are getting dynamite so that they can blast open the hatch they have discovered in order to see what it contains. After they bringing out the crate that holds the dynamite, he begins to wrap a stick of the dynamite in a wet shirt as he is explaining that it is highly explosive. While he is describing the fate of the man who first discovered nitroglycerin, he accidentally waves the stick of dynamite around. This causes it to explode in his face, which kills him. Dynamite is composed of nitroglycerin, diatomaceous earth, and sodium carbonate. Because it is so unstable, even the slightest movement may cause it to explode. Dr. Artz’s movements cause a chemical reaction to take place. This is 2 C7H5N3O6 → 3 N2 + 5 H2O + 7 CO + 7 C2 C7H5N3O6 → 3 N2 + 5 H2 + 12 CO + 2 C.
Bender, Jack, dir. "Exodus (Part 2)." Lost. ABC. 25 May 2005. Television.
3. Lye Powder in Fight Club
In Fight Club, a man with an average, white collar job meets a soap maker named Tyler Durden. In the scene in which the reaction takes place, he does not realize that Durden is actually just a figment of his imagination, whom he has formed due to his opposing personality traits. Durden is telling the unnamed main character, who is also the narrator, about the history of lye, which is used to make the soap that he produces. In order to illustrate how caustic lye truly is, and to teach the narrator a lesson through that, Durden gets the back of the narrator’s hand wet with his saliva and then dumps the lye powder onto it. The narrator immediately reacts to the immense pain that the lye is causing. The water in the saliva serves in the breakdown of the NaOH, or lye. Although the water does not actually react with the NaOH, it serves to make the ions of both the sodium and the hydroxide aqueous. This is a decomposition reaction. The narrator says that he is going to put water on it, but Durden warns that this will only make it worse, and that vinegar will neutralize the reaction. The chemical reaction for this is NaOH (s) Na+(aq) + OH-(aq).
Fight Club. Dir. David Fincher. Prod. Cean Chaffin, Art Linson, and Ross Grayson Bell. Perf. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2000. DVD.
4. Plane Crash in The Greatest Generation
In the The Greatest Generation, a book by Tom Brokaw, there is a tragic plane crash. Charles Briscoe built the B-29 plane, which was ultimately used to drop…