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"You kind of expect it to be quite so... WOW!!"
December 30, 2011 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Chemical Reactions. Four minutes of the best moments of stuff burning, breaking, freezing, exploding, melting, and generally reacting in interesting ways.

For those looking for more context, these are the highlights:

0.00 Sulfur Barking Dog
0.02 Hydrogen
0.03 Apollo Lunar Lift-Off Chemistry
0.06 Pete's Coloured Flames
0.11 Magnesium
0.12 Cake Blowing Up
0.17 White Phosphorus
0.20 Helium Balloon cooled with Liquid Nitrogen
0.24 Liquid Oxygen
0.27 Cokes Cans in Acid and Base
0.35 Cheeseburger in HCl
0.36 Aqua Regia dissolves gold
0.39 Fluorine and cotton wool
0.40 Smashing Liquid Nitrogen Pumpkin
0.49 Phosphorus
0.50 Caesium (first go) [previously]
0.57 Magnesium in CO2
1.01 Krakatoa Tubes
1.05 Pumpkin Thermite
1.09 Pete's Coloured Flames again
1.25 Sulphuric Acid and Sugar
1.29 Fluorine and Steel Wool
1.35 Fluorine and Charcoal
1.37 Fluorine and Cotton Wool
1.39 Hydrochloric Acid
1.30 Carbon Dioxide under a coin
1.49 Musket Firing
1.59 Silver Flashes
2.01 More Fluorine
2.06 Potassium
2.13 Hypergolic Reaction
2.16 Chlorine
2.21 Carbon Dioxide
2.30 Gun Cotton
2.35 Creme Eggs [previously]
2.46 Caesium
2.49 Sulfur
2.53 Iron/Thermite
3.11 Crystal Garden
3.16 Silver Cylinder
3.20 Coke cans in Acid
3.26 Crystal garden
3.30 Fire Water
3.33 Hydrogen

The full list can be found here.

posted by quin (15 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks! I'll play all videos tomorrow instead if Fireworks this year ...
posted by homodigitalis at 1:56 PM on December 30, 2011

I approve, but needs more fluorine.
posted by N-stoff at 2:02 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Awesome post! Brings back many fond -- and some not-so-fond -- memories of HS and college chemistry classes.

One of my favorite posts in a long time.
posted by ssmug at 2:28 PM on December 30, 2011

A shortened version (1:09) of the Previously for Caesium which never fails to make me laugh at the end. I loved chemistry for just this sort of thing.
posted by episodic at 2:44 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Heh, I'm a nerd. I've already watched almost all of these, except for the awesome compilation.

Poor, stoic (if bemused) Neil. "Yeah, I already know what's going to happen when you do that. You're either going to blow up my fume hood and/or make a huge mess for me to clean up. Fine, just let me go get another fire extinguisher and a broom."

I'm also quite concerned about Deborah Kays' lab coat. Partially because it looks like it could burst into flames if you get the wrong drop of something else on it, but mainly because I'm worried it's going to spontaneously create potentially harmful organometallic life forms.

At the end of the compilation you can see them blowing up a balloon of hydrogen. I've seen the original before, but I just now noticed that in the background up the hill behind a stand of trees there's a student walking who seems to be quite surprised at suddenly hearing an explosion. They seem to jump a little, then stop and look around. Awesome.
posted by loquacious at 2:48 PM on December 30, 2011

One of my best friends is a science teacher at the high-school level (this is in Ireland) and was lamenting once that she had to keep a whole store of these kind of whiz-bang experiments in her back pocket once to keep the kids' attention -- explosions, colored flames, stink bombs. "Basically," she said, "my life is bangs and smells."

....It's still cool. (I kind of want to get sulfuric acid and sugar and play with it just because of what it does.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:53 PM on December 30, 2011

Awesome post! Brings back many fond -- and some not-so-fond -- memories of HS and college chemistry classes.

Yeah, it ends with one of my favorite tricks, lighting a balloon filled with hydrogen. This sort of stunt is probably why I was rushed to the Emergency Room twice during my high school chemistry classes. You should probably wear safety glasses just to watch these videos.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:53 PM on December 30, 2011

The Aqua Regia one was really interesting. Thanks for the post.
posted by codacorolla at 4:00 PM on December 30, 2011

I don't mean to be "conspiracy guy", but uhh- who's operating that camera on the moon as the lunar module is flying away? I imagine an exchange like this "oh wow guys I got a great shot of you blasting off! Hey wait a minute. Hey guys? Guys?"
posted by kingv at 5:38 PM on December 30, 2011

I don't mean to be "conspiracy guy", but uhh- who's operating that camera on the moon as the lunar module is flying away?

For that mission and a few others they had a remotely operated video camera on the Lunar Rover, which explains why the framing and panning/tracking isn't so great.

They intentionally parked the lunar rover a safe distance away specifically so they could get that shot because even the folks at NASA wanted to know what it looked like lifting off, because in the earlier landings they didn't have the rover or live color TV cameras. (Despite history's rosy-colored hindsight, people didn't actually "watch" the first landings, but they may have "heard" them, even if it was on TV.)
posted by loquacious at 6:00 PM on December 30, 2011

This is the coolest one.
posted by mike3k at 7:13 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Steel Pepsi cans? WTF
posted by Chekhovian at 8:51 PM on December 30, 2011

mike3k, sometimes a column of carbon is just a column of carbon.
posted by NortonDC at 9:48 PM on December 30, 2011

Uh huh. Once again they didn't dare show the iodine tricks.
posted by Twang at 2:39 AM on December 31, 2011

This is an excellent post. Thank you very much.

Also, episodic, I laughed at the end!
posted by rmmcclay at 4:43 AM on December 31, 2011

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