Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Kitchen Science: Elephant Toothpaste

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Elephant toothpaste is a classic chemistry demonstration that will make anyone overflow with joy. When hydrogen peroxide decomposes, it gives off oxygen gas and water. Under ordinary circumstances, it breaks down very slowly, but potassium iodide can act as a catalyst — making the reaction tremendously fast. If there is some liquid soap mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide, steamy foam will gush out of the container. [1:05]