The transformation of pool water from blue to green at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro resulted in some speculation on the cause that often centered around algae.
But N.C. State University chemistry professor Jim Martin found the explanations wanting. When the topic came up at a workshop with some Wake County chemistry teachers, Heritage High School chemistry teacher Katie Nock, who works at a pool in the summer, suggested they find a more plausible explanation.
The result is a 9-minute video in which Martin shows how the combination of several common pool chemicals can result in green water. The video, “Why the Rio Pools Turned Green: A Chemistry Professor Explains,” was uploaded to YouTube on Aug. 15l and had been viewed more than 2,000 times by the end of the week.
“Pool owners love it, noting many have seen this phenomenon,” Martin said by email. “Chemists and science enthusiasts love the basic explanations that relate fundamental chemistry to practical real world events.”
Martin said his son, Josh, who just graduated from Enloe High School, did much of the production work on the video, which can be found at youtu.be/mM8uDvY4lkQ