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In less than 100 seconds, Richard Dewhurst gives a brief history of chewing gum and explains how it gets its sticky properties.
Watch more from our 100 Second Science video series.
Comments on this article are now closed.
Nice movie, but please get your content right!It is not true that there are four hydrogen atoms bond to every carbon atom in an alkyl chain! That would only be true for methane, which is a gas and is not considered here. In general and very simply said, a carbon atom can form four bonds to other atoms - hence it can bind at most three hydrogen atoms if the considered carbon atom is located at the end of an alkyl chain.Best regards form Austria!
Chewing gum that takes more than a year to degrade should be banned anyway.
I've found a fairly easy way to remove extremely stuck gum by freezing. The temperature of an average deep freeze may not be cold enough but, outdoor winter temperatures (in some places) or a special purpose -extra cold- freezer will make the gum so brittle that it temporarily loses all adhesion. Then it readily crumbles and brushes off. In a special garment, or some such, the effort may be worth it.Care should be taken to maintain the cold until the job is done so that one doesn't end up changing the mess into a bunch of little messes.Also, advize to take care to avoid what is sometimes called freezer burn; especially to the fingers.
It is very easy to remove chewing gum using a citrus oil based degreaser, showing chewing gum's aliphatic nature. When I was a kid I got Silly Putty (a silicone liquid) in the drapes, and that sure was a conundrum for my parents to remove!
Edited by altenber on Jul 4, 2013 9:48 PM.