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September 25, 2010 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Red Gummy Bear + Potassium Chlorate = SHINY BRIGHT EXPLODING FUN. [SLYT]
posted by Fizz (56 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, the music early is fitting: this experiment throws heat, and ends up a mess /bitter redsox fan
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's next, Mr. Wizard?
posted by hippybear at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2010


I see a Mythbusters episode coming up.
posted by lampshade at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2010


I do this as a demo to illustrate just how much energy really is in a food calorie. Also, sodium chlorate does the same thing, but is safer to handle in my experience (less friction sensitive).

The students still eat the rest of the bag of gummy bears anyway.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh bother.
posted by JHarris at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is why potassium chlorate is literal rocket fuel (not to be confused with figurative Rocket Fuel).
posted by mhum at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2010


In fairness, Potassium Chlorate has this reaction with real bears as well.
posted by nola at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2010 [17 favorites]


I know very little about chemistry. Can I assume that it is the sugar that is reacting with the sodium chlorate that creates the somewhat volatile reaction?
posted by Fizz at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2010


From the comments: And you're not doing this under a fume hood WHY?

I'm glad my high school science teacher has figured out how to record videos for YouTube. Oh, Dr. Wolkow and your blatant disregard for not poisoning your sophomore chem class with iodine gas.

Meanwhile, I eat at least a pound of gummi bears a month. Should I be concerned?
posted by griphus at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2010


Where's his fume hood?
posted by sunshinesky at 1:23 PM on September 25, 2010


Found linked to this video, also interesting: Hot ice with sodium acetate.
posted by JHarris at 1:24 PM on September 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


JHarris, I like the glass is left unlabelled in a fridge.
posted by Fizz at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I do this as a demo to illustrate just how much energy really is in a food calorie.

I do this as an example to the other gummy bears.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2010 [53 favorites]


I eat at least a pound of gummi bears a month. Should I be concerned?

Nah, just chase 'em with a little (alkali metal)chlorate and you'll be fine.
posted by TedW at 1:26 PM on September 25, 2010


I know very little about chemistry. Can I assume that it is the sugar that is reacting with the sodium chlorate that creates the somewhat volatile reaction?

Yeah. Chlorates are quite strong oxidizing agents, and sugars are readily oxidizable (essentially, the reagent is helping the sugar burn by providing the oxygen directly, instead of having to wait around for it to diffuse in from the surrounding air). Anything with sugar in it will work, though gummy stuff seems to work particularly well, possibly because they melt once it gets going and increase the amount of contact area with the chlorate.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 1:28 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hot ice with sodium acetate.

Now I will destroy the whole world.
posted by griphus at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


If they'd done it with ammonium chlorate, it probably would have exploded.

As it was, I kept expecting the test tube to shatter, or to melt.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2010


I always wondered how they made that Gummiberry Juice.
posted by jefficator at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'll also note that the reaction works better if you make screaming "pleeeeaaaase don't burn me" gummy bear voices. Or, at least, that's how I justify it to myself.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 1:33 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ouch!
posted by gummi at 1:43 PM on September 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


I eat at least a pound of gummi bears a month. Should I be concerned?

How much potassium chlorate do you eat? I usually only have a few ounces after dinner, myself, but then, I never eat gummy bears, so I figure it's pretty safe.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:46 PM on September 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Huh. That's funny. I usually get the "stand back or I will immolate you with my mouth" brush-off only after I try to go in for a kiss.
posted by griphus at 1:52 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Red Gummy Bear + Potassium Chlorate = SHINY BRIGHT EXPLODING FUN. [SLYT]
posted by Fizz


Epony...oh, hang on

I do this as a demo...
posted by Dr.Enormous


Epony...god dammit

I do this as an example to the other gummy bears.
posted by Mr. Bad Example


Eponyster....would you lot knock it off?

Ouch!
posted by gummi


Is this some kind of joke?
posted by djgh at 1:56 PM on September 25, 2010 [35 favorites]


Tools of the Gummy Bear Mafia, Part 23.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:17 PM on September 25, 2010


Bag of gummy bears ... Check.

Now, where does one buy potassium chlorate?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:31 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The bright white flame indicates this was a particular sweet gummy bear.
posted by grouse at 2:40 PM on September 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


An old boyfriend of mine used to make gummi bears gyrate lewdly, calling it the Erotic Dance of the Gummi Bears.

Now we know what lewd gummi bear hell looks like.

"But -- but -- I didn't want to dance like that! That guy squeezed me between his thumb and index finger and -- and -- he made me gyrate! It wasn't my idea! It's not my FAAAAAAAAUUUUUUIIIIIIEEEEEE ----"
posted by maudlin at 2:43 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was like a holy water exorcism on a possessed gummy bear.
posted by Red Loop at 2:46 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bought my girlfriend a SIX POUND bag of gummi bears a week ago.

Oh, the possibilities.
posted by mrbill at 2:47 PM on September 25, 2010


Am I a bad person for wishing now that Katy Perry had shot potassium chlorate out of her tits in that video with Snoop Dog?
posted by felix betachat at 2:55 PM on September 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Potassium chlorate + sugar is normally silent. What you hear emitted from this reaction is actually caused by the gummi bear screaming in limitless and endurable agony.
posted by jgscott at 2:57 PM on September 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is awesome. I wish there was some sort of science class I could take that just had the fun bits.

My early love of science was killed by an inability to get the hang of math and a really crappy middle school.
posted by JoanArkham at 3:23 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Potassium Chlorate has this reaction with real bears as well.

This is literally true.

What you hear emitted from this reaction is actually caused by the gummi bear screaming in limitless and endurable agony.

This is the sounds like
when bears die.
posted by bonehead at 3:38 PM on September 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The horror...the horror
posted by Gungho at 3:39 PM on September 25, 2010


That bear is a wuss. I'd like to see him try that shit with Swedish Fish.
posted by qvantamon at 3:48 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any special reason it's a red gummy bear? 'Cuz at one time, you could do this sort of thing with red playing cards.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:26 PM on September 25, 2010


What you hear emitted from this reaction is actually caused by the gummi bear screaming in limitless and endurable agony.

So gummis can endure limitless agony... how are their skills at finding good Chinese food?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:41 PM on September 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see this done with one of these giant five-pound gummy bears.
posted by item at 5:02 PM on September 25, 2010


Well, let's add some more fuel to the fire:
The Briggs-Raucher Oscillating Reaction
Elephant Toothpaste
Stoichiometery
Magnesium burns even in a carbon dioxide atmosphere
Cooking a turkey with thermite
Disposing of tons of leftover sodium (literally)
Educational portion: these are all oxidation-reduction (aka redox) reactions, in which electrons are transfered between atoms. Combustion is the most familiar type of redox reaction. Not all redox reactions are this spectacular, but almost everything this spectacular is a redox reaction.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:25 PM on September 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


What's all the stuff about "OMG Hazardous material disposal... Oh, the environment!!!" in the Sodium video credits/comments? I might be wrong, but isn't a drum of sodium in an alkaline lake just going to balance the pH a bit?
posted by qvantamon at 6:02 PM on September 25, 2010


My 11th grade chemistry teacher teased us with the promise of THE GUMMI BEAR EXPERIMENT for the entire semester. He built it up so much that we were convinced it was going to disappoint. He did it with the lights off. We all swore that day to become chemists just so we could do this after hours in the lab.
posted by missmary6 at 7:15 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Academy laughed at when I said I could fuel with the world on Gummi, well who's laughing now Professor Rimblade!? WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?!
posted by The Whelk at 7:18 PM on September 25, 2010


Color is irrelevant to this experiment, so I'm a bit confused as to why it is in the title. Would the reaction color change according to the color used?
posted by jolynntech at 8:17 PM on September 25, 2010


RED MAKES IT GO FASTER
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 PM on September 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


RED MAKES IT GO FASTER

No, red just makes it more likely to get pulled over.
posted by TedW at 8:38 PM on September 25, 2010


felix betachat: "Am I a bad person for wishing now that Katy Perry had shot potassium chlorate out of her tits in that video with Snoop Dog^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HElmo?"

Yes. Elmo.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:47 PM on September 25, 2010


Color is irrelevant to this experiment, so I'm a bit confused as to why it is in the title

I'm presuming that it refers back to an earlier video of the same demo (too lazy to find it) where the guy points out that it always seems to be a red gummy bear used in the demo.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 9:52 PM on September 25, 2010


RED MAKES IT GO FASTER

It's a gummy bear, not a Space Ork.

Altho chances are the Orks have some ridiculous rocket cannon that uses this reaction as a propellant.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:09 AM on September 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


felix betachat: Am I a bad person for wishing now that Katy Perry had shot potassium chlorate out of her tits in that video with Snoop Dog?

Am I a bad person for wishing now that Katy Perry had shot potassium chlorate out of her tits in that video with Elmo?
posted by emelenjr at 5:49 AM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


My boyfriend commented casually to a friend who had linked to this: "I did this one in high school. According to my calculations, the air should have gotten hotter than the sun. That is, we should all be dead."
posted by ke rose ne at 5:12 PM on September 26, 2010


I might be wrong, but isn't a drum of sodium in an alkaline lake just going to balance the pH a bit?

Yes, you are wrong...
posted by DarkForest at 5:43 PM on September 26, 2010


Oh gummi bear, you sacrificed yourself so others may live. Thank you.
posted by stormpooper at 6:08 PM on September 26, 2010


isn't a drum of sodium in an alkaline lake just going to balance the pH a bit?
It'll make it more alkaline, for what it's worth, as if you'd thrown in an equivalent amount of lye. It seems like it shouldn't cause lasting harm, though, assuming the lake is large enough to absorb the blip in pH. (Anything unlucky enough to be near the barrel-o-sodium will have a really bad day though.)
posted by hattifattener at 11:15 PM on September 26, 2010


The neon red flame indicates that this was a particularly delicious gummy bear.
posted by Spatch at 2:11 AM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


(And the previous post indicates that Spatch did not particularly read down the entire page.)
posted by Spatch at 2:12 AM on September 27, 2010


In a science lab, no one can hear you scream.
posted by stormpooper at 6:39 AM on September 27, 2010


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