Li'l JohnnyScience brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.
There's a cute rhyme that chemists often quote:
"Li'l Johnny was a chemist,
But Johnny ain't no more,
'Cause what he thought was H2O,
Let's assume Johnny is a little smarter and knows H2SO4 as sulfuric acid. He wants to neutralize it. He calls a chemist friend on his cell phone, but the reception is bad. Johnny is able to make out the words "soda" and "lime". Always the impetuous one, Johnny purchases an amount of Diet Coke with Lime equal to the amount of sulfuric acid he wants to neutralize. Johnny's misadventure ends with a bad chemical burn.
Why didn't the soda and lime work?
AnswerWhat Johnny's friend tried to tell him was that he could use "caustic soda", otherwise known as sodium hydroxide, which would result in aqueous sodium sulfate.
Johnny could also have used lime - the MINERAL lime - which when combined with sulfuric acid can create gypsum.
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