Sitting around a campfire, you can feel its heat, smell the woody smoke, and hear it crackle. If you get too close, it burns your eyes and stings your nostrils. You could stare at the bright flames forever as they twist and flicker in endless incarnations… But what exactly are you looking at? Elizabeth Cox illuminates the science behind fire. Continue reading
There’s nothing like the fresh smell of a real tree, but real trees can also pose a serious fire hazard if the tree accidentally dries out. Steve Spangler shares a “television-only” science demonstration with firefighters in a controlled situation that illustrates how dry trees are susceptible to catching fire and ways to avoid this potential fire risk. Continue reading
Are you slowly killing your car by using below average gas? Olivia talks about octane ratings and how your vehicle is designed to handle them.
Hosted by: Olivia Gordon
In this demonstration, a peeled potato is cut into the form of a candle and an almond slice is used as the candle’s “wick.” The teacher lights the almond slice on fire and it burns. The students see the object, and make observations about it. Continue reading
Grant Thompson – the King of Random – teaches me how to start a fire with a Sandwich bag. And we tried to melt glass in my backyard Continue reading
Flour is an ingredient that is found in most kitchens and used regularly for baking and cooking. Consequently, it is considered safe, and people do not regard the potential hazards. In reality, flour and dust explosions are extremely dangerous, and reducing the risk of such an explosion is a major concern to the agriculture and food processing industries.
The purpose of this demonstration/activity is to illustrate the importance of being aware of potentially harmful situations and practices in the workplace. In particular, the dustiness of a material can affect the nature of chemical reaction, affecting a safe working environment.
How does it work?
Flour is combustible. When sitting as a stable pile the fuel (flour) is more connected to other flour particles than oxygen particles. As dust, each dust particle is surrounded by oxygen particles. This supports the combustion of the flour particle. As each particle moves through the flame, the combustion moves with the particles. Flour explosions tend to be connected to the movement of flour through air. The source of ignition is often discovered to be a static discharge.
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Most people don’t need matches, safety glasses and hydrogen gas to crack open an egg. But then again, Steve always finds the most unusual method to do the simplest things. Don’t try this at home. Continue reading
What happens when you pour liquid nitrogen on a flame? What about when you blow on the flame with a cup in the way? Try these five unusual ways to extinguish a candle. Pour out the flame with CO2. Cut off the oxygen supply to the flame without fully covering it. Snuff out the flame with a coil of copper wire, and when it appears dead, it will amazingly come back to life!
Creator: Dianna Cowern