MOLE DAY GOES OFF WITH A BANG

Visitors to the HUB discovered some interesting new choices on the menu October 23, Mole Day. Chemistry major Josh Beri serves up a crunchy marshmallow "cooked" in liquid nitrogen.

By all accounts, Mole Day was a smashing success, attracting plenty of attention from lunchtime HUB visitors October 23, while stirring up interest in chemistry. It was the first time the event was celebrated in the HUB.

Schools throughout the world celebrate Mole Day October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. to commemorate the chemical "mole"—Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 10^23), a basic measuring unit in chemistry.

Moravian chemistry students, under the direction of Carl Salter, chair and professor of chemistry, relished the opportunity to demonstrate chemistry's dynamic possibilities. Activities included marshmallow magic—dipping marshmallows in liquid nitrogen to make them crispy—and intermittent hydrogen gas explosions. Reactions, overall, were positive.

"Isaac Asimov once wrote an essay on the significance of the mole," said Carl. "He began by saying there are two words that can be used to determine the true chemist on To Tell the Truth. One is 'unionized,'—un-ionized to a chemist—and the other is 'mole.'"