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What evidence is there that a chemical reaction occurred on the surface of the Statue...

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disaster14 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 23, 2010 at 8:42 AM via web

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What evidence is there that a chemical reaction occurred on the surface of the Statue of Liberty?

Please help me it my homework assignment and am not that good at science and plus my teacher didn't give any clues how to find the answer. So some please help me

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted March 23, 2010 at 8:51 AM (Answer #1)

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When copper, the material that coats the Statue of Liberty, is oxidized it changes color and goes from the coppery color to a green tarnished look.  The statue over time had begun to change its outward appearance to reflect this chemical change.  When copper is exposed to moisture in the air it oxidizes.  The green hue of the statue was the proof that the chemical reaction had occurred.

To demonstrate this reaction one could take some copper pennies and put them in water.  Left alone, the pennies will begin to undergo the same checmical change.

A good article on the changes of the Statue of Liberty can be viewed at the site below.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted March 23, 2010 at 1:12 PM (Answer #2)

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Change in colour of the Statue of Liberty is an evidence of chemical reactions occurring on its surface.

Statue of liberty is fully covered with plates of copper. Because of this, originally it was of copper colour. However over a period, because of action of moisture and oxygen in the atmosphere the copper on the surface of copper plates covering the statue, chemically combined with oxygen and got converted into copper oxide. As copper oxide is green coloured, the surface of statue, covered with it because of the chemical reaction of the copper, acquired greenish hue over a period.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:40 AM (Answer #3)

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The evidence that a chemical reaction occured on the surface of the Statue of Liberty is the statue's green color.  The Statue of Liberty was made of copper.  When copper is exposed to oxygen is oxidizes. The result is the lovely patina we now see. 

Patina refers to the aging process of surface structures. On bronze a film is left on the surface.  Wooden surfaces develop a sheen from wear and use.  Have you ever seen a penny that was discolored and green.  The coloring is a common example of a patina.

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