Page 9 of 15

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:49 am UTC
by blakat1313
Chfan wrote:What I meant was it was the balls with string tied around. What I asked was why there are no flames where you rest it on your hand...
It's a simple answer, really. It's #&%*ing Science! This segment has some other fun stuff as well.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:43 pm UTC
by Silverwolf
Another fun demo I haven't seen on here is making a pickle glow by running a current through it. I suppose you should have some kind of current regulator, but when we did it we basically just plugged it into a wall using a partially stripped electrical cord and using paper clips to hold it in place. Just be careful a) not to electrocute yourself and b) to keep the two contacts well apart, as they will arc quite powerfully which, if it happens inside the pickle, will make it explode.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:41 pm UTC
by blakat1313
I suddenly want to try that. Would voltage/amperage/amount of current change the size of the explosion?

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:00 am UTC
by The-Rabid-Monkey
blakat1313 wrote:I suddenly want to try that. Would voltage/amperage/amount of current change the size of the explosion?


I would imagine a higher current would equal a bigger explosion.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:11 am UTC
by Kasperl
Things to take care of when doing the pickle:
If you use a grounded wire, make sure the ground is completely tied of and insulated. Most houses (at least in Dutch electric systems) have a switch that kills everything if current leaks to the earth. For the same reasons, make sure you're not connecting the live wire to anything metal. That's also good against electrocution. Before you do it, check that there's nothing valuable beneath the pickle, it'll drip a nasty black fluid. Make sure that whatever way the thing swings, it doesn't touch anything/one. And most importantly, use a switch instead of plugging stuff in, and when working on the pickle, make sure to unplug the whole system as well as turning the switch off. Do not plug the thing in without having everyone out of the way.

Playing with live electricity is something to pay a bit of attention to.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:52 pm UTC
by Jakell
I have take to watching brownian motion with a laser and an optical mouse. Shine a laser pointer at a small bottle of glue, and aim the small light of a mouse on the dot. The mouse pointer will dance around frantically because the glue molecules are. If it is moving slowly, try watering down your glue. Excellence will ensue.


Finer details can be found here:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=29541

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:04 pm UTC
by augurey
oxoiron wrote:
drumbum99 wrote:Does anyone have a home experiment that makes a bang. Also that is a gom eexperiemtn so you can get ahold of the stuff easily and it is not illegal =P
I won't vouch for the legality in your neighborhood, but the reagents for this are readily available and it will go 'bang'!

THIS IS DANGEROUS, SO DON'T KILL YOURSELF!

1) Put some aluminum foil into an empty plastic pop bottle (start with a small one (e.g. 16 oz.) until you have an idea of how much damage these can do).

2) Add a little HCl (available as Limeaway, CLR, etc.)

DO NOT SCREW ON THE CAP YET!

3) Swirl the acid around to wet the aluminum.

4) Quickly screw on the cap tightly enough to seal.

5) GET AWAY FROM THE BOTTLE!

6) Cover your ears and wait for the explosion.

7) Repeat as desired.


The reaction that produces the explosion:

2 Al(s) + 6 HCl(aq) ---> 2 AlCl3 (aq) + 3 H2 (g)

The gas produced during the reaction builds up pressure until the bottle explodes.


I'm rather shocked it took so long for someone to bring up drano bombs. They were a staple of growing up in rural Ohio.

We always used a half inch of crystal drano, 10-15 loosely packed foil balls and water. Screw cap on, shake, throw. Agitation isn't needed, it merely speeds up the process. Mind you if this goes off in your hand, you will not have a good day.

http://how-2-make.blogspot.com/2007/02/ ... -bomb.html

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:09 am UTC
by BlackSails
Bromine + nail polish remover (acetone) = Alpha-bromoacetone, a potent tear gas.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:21 am UTC
by thornahawk
BlackSails wrote:Bromine + nail polish remover (acetone) = Alpha-bromoacetone, a potent tear gas.


Without a good hood, madness. Also possibly a runaway.

But if you're into this sort of thing...

~ Werner

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:21 pm UTC
by neurosci_queen
I don't know if this is exactly an experiment, but it's something quite fascinating. Serotonin levels are linked with ACH levels, so if you're ever stressed, worried, or depressed, doing high levels of aerobics can make you feel better. Just take a moment to write down all your negative feelings, then go for a run or some other kind of aerobic exercise for about 35 minutes. After that, you'll be amazed how much better you feel; you'll be completely amazed at what you wrote down, as well. The mind is a fascinating organism, when you see the difference between what you wrote down and how you feel at that moment, you'll just be amazed (I know I am, every time).

Also, if you can get your hands on some magnesium strips, burning them is always a lot of fun. Just don't look directly at the light...

Another one is burning different kinds of salts (KCl, NaCl, NaF etc), and seeing the different colors. This is relatively easy to do, as it's not that hard to get your hands on table salt or epsom salts. Pharmacies will most likely have anything you'd want to burn. as long as you take precautions with the fire, you ought to be fine, and see a wonderful change in color!

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:42 am UTC
by thornahawk
neurosci_queen wrote:Also, if you can get your hands on some magnesium strips, burning them is always a lot of fun. Just don't look directly at the light...


You can look, but not with the naked eye of-course. ;) There are appropriate goggles for such.

neurosci_queen wrote:Another one is burning different kinds of salts (KCl, NaCl, NaF etc), and seeing the different colors. This is relatively easy to do, as it's not that hard to get your hands on table salt or epsom salts. Pharmacies will most likely have anything you'd want to burn. as long as you take precautions with the fire, you ought to be fine, and see a wonderful change in color!


Flame tests are always fun. If you want to do some research on the side, know that firework makers are still in search of a salt that will color flares blue satisfactorily.

~ Werner

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:10 pm UTC
by Kyo
Thermite and/or nitrogen triiodide

'cause thermite is an explosion and nitrogen triiodide is an explosion... that's purple

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:46 pm UTC
by sgt york
Mother Nature's Son wrote:
One thing to consider is that this experiment produces amazing amounts of chlorine gas as well as hydrogen and oxygen. It was enough to make me feel slightly ill at one point, and I would definitely recommend doing this outside.


This may have been mentioned...but I want to be sure it gets said. Don't use table salt for this. Use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Chlorine can kill you. The fact that it's making you feel sick means it's been hacking away at your lungs already, and that can be really, really bad.

Baking soda will work well as an electrolyte, and doesn't crank out poison.

Well, at least not as potent a poison.

Also....Fun with not-so-accessible stuff.

In my work, I frequently have to "snap-freeze" tissues I harvest. This consists of putting the tissue in a tube and dropping it into a bucket of liquid nitrogen. After I'm done, I take the tubes to the deep freeze and...I have a bucket of liquid nitrogen. If you ever find yourself in this situation, there are MANY fun things to do....

1) Drop liquid soap in it. OUTSIDE.
2) Toss it on the floor and have a bubble race (everybody picks a bubble and whichever gets the furthest from the origin wins)
3) Pluck a hair, freeze it, and shatter it
4) Find cockroach. Snap freeze. Wait. Quick thaw. Watch it scamper away.
5) Evil : Get your P1000 and set it to 1mL. Take up some lN2 and find a labmate (quickly). Squirt at back of neck from ~1m distance. Run. Hide the rest of the lN2 to prevent immediate reprisal. Transfer pipette works, too, but you have to be careful; it's only safe because there's very little that actually hits the person. It can freeze moisture trapped in clothing and injure people.
6) Unsafe: Nitrogen has a boiling point of 77K. Oxygen has a boiling point of 90K. Shape a chunk of foil into a cup. Drop the cup in the nitrogen and let it equilibrate. Reach in and get the cup with some tongs, making sure it's full of lN2. Hold it in the air and watch for the condensation, like what you see on the outside of a glass of cold water on a hot, humid day....but that foil is 77K; no liquid water there...that's oxygen. Now move it towards a flame, watch flame grow ~3-4 fold.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:21 am UTC
by thornahawk
^ you seem to forget ice cream making and making rubber objects brittle as glass. ;)

~ Werner

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:43 am UTC
by von Eisenstein
sgt york wrote:4) Find cockroach. Snap freeze. Wait. Quick thaw. Watch it scamper away.


How would you "quick thaw" it? I know I have been on xkcd too long when the first thing I think of is "microwave" but that is obviously implausible as it would result in an exploding insect.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:39 pm UTC
by Mr_Rose
von Eisenstein wrote:
sgt york wrote:4) Find cockroach. Snap freeze. Wait. Quick thaw. Watch it scamper away.


How would you "quick thaw" it? I know I have been on xkcd too long when the first thing I think of is "microwave" but that is obviously implausible as it would result in an exploding insect.

Only if you heat it to the boiling point of water.
I'd use warm (50℃) water, for about one minute.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:07 pm UTC
by sgt york
thornahawk wrote:^ you seem to forget ice cream making and making rubber objects brittle as glass. ;)

~ Werner


Damn, how could I forget lN2 ice cream? If you've never tried it, you should; you'll never have better. Just mix milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla and pour the mixture into an equal volume of lN2 in a VERY LARGE container (it boils like crazy). Instant ice cream, and it's the creamiest you'll ever eat; absolutely no crystals.

Quick thawing: Use room temperature water or a little warmer. 25-35C degrees. 50C is a little warm for the cockroach; too much of an added stress. Just drop the insect in it for a moment and then fish it out. It'll take about a minute. Maybe less.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:46 pm UTC
by oxoiron
sgt york wrote: 4) Find cockroach. Snap freeze. Wait. Quick thaw. Watch it scamper away.
This also works with other bugs (e.g. spiders) if you are fortunate enough to be in a lab not populated with cockroaches.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:09 pm UTC
by RawrMage
Electrolysis time!
Woo-hoo!
Ok... Electrolysis of salt in water.

I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU DRINK IT AND/OR HURT YOURSELF.

Equipment and Ingredients:
Say... One teaspoon of salt
Two teaspoons of water
One D battery
Two wires
A switch for safety
A small flat lid of something... I used a butter lid from 'I can't believe it's not butter' :D

Mix the salt and water in the lid... I only have 1:2 salt to water because it was a long time ago and i can't remember exactly how much I put in.
Hook up the D battery and the switch and wires. Put the wires in the solution.
Flip the switch. You should see some yellow stuff forming in the liquid. That would be our friend Na. Plus, shut it off soon.
The chlorine gas will escape. Some of it will be trapped in the water and will make it bleach-like. Don't drink it!
Use Responsibly.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:42 pm UTC
by eternauta3k
Make sure the lid is not metallic. Also, if you don't want chlorine or bleach, use sodium bicarbonate.

The yellow stuff is probably some metallic oxide from your wires, any sodium you get will turn into Na+ and release H2 (both colorless)

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:03 pm UTC
by The-Rabid-Monkey
RawrMage wrote:Flip the switch. You should see some yellow stuff forming in the liquid. That would be our friend Na. Plus, shut it off soon.

Uh, to my knowledge sodium is one of those typical, shiny silver metals.
Spoiler:
Image


I have a slight feeling that what you had there was [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron(III)_chloride"]Iron(III) Chloride[/url] as Iron(III) Chloride is the only product that would be in there that is yellow. This is guessing you had iron wires of course.
-Zinc Chloride is white, suggesting you had steel wires, but this would still give Iron(III) Chloride.
-Copper(II) Chloride is green, if you had copper wires, so I would have no idea where the yellow solid came from.
-I'm sure it wouldn't happen, but Copper(I) Chloride is colourless, which would mean some super freaky shit is going on. Also, if you did for some reason get it, it reacts nicely with alkynes to make a nice explosive compound.
-Aluminium Chloride is a yellow colour, but aluminium wires are uncommon to my knowledge.
-Also note that no sodium compounds that would be in there are yellow.
-If you for some totally mental reason had gold wires, you could have possibly made Gold(III) Chloride, which is yellow.
So this means the only thing in there I can think of that would be yellow is Ferric Chloride

As said, the sodium metal would quickly be changing back into sodium ions, that's if it ever did convert to sodium metal in the first place. Besides, the absolute last place you want sodium metal sitting is in a lid of water. As we all know what happens to sodium in water, don't we :D

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:14 pm UTC
by RawrMage
Besides, the absolute last place you want sodium metal sitting is in a lid of water. As we all know what happens to sodium in water, don't we :D

Yes. Yes we do.
Yes, iron wires were probably what I used. That would make a lot of sense. Also, when I spilled it on my clothes one spot got bleached and one spot turned rust-colored, so again, that makes sense.
No, I didn't use gold wires. That would be just plain weird.
Also, looking at Iron(III) Chloride, I notice a few other things in there like browning the water slightly that I faintly remember occurring.
Also, in afterthought, my statement was flawed. NaCl is a ionic compound so there would be no metal, period, unless it borrowed some electrons, which would just unbalance it again(?) Thank you.

Re:

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:24 am UTC
by chewey
teucer wrote:
And there's an easier way to make hydrogen than by electrolysis. Fill a wine bottle a reasonably large fraction full of water, and add lye (NaOH). Get the lye dissolved. This is exothermic, so let it cool down before proceeding to step two: add a handful of crumpled pieces of aluminum foil. Then put a balloon over the neck of the bottle and fill with hydrogen. Alternatively, light the hydrogen that's coming off the bottle for a self-fueling lamp.


could you use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) instead of using lye? and how does the aluminum foil cause the hydrogen to split away from the oxygen without electrolysis?

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:56 am UTC
by von Eisenstein
chewey wrote:
teucer wrote:
And there's an easier way to make hydrogen than by electrolysis. Fill a wine bottle a reasonably large fraction full of water, and add lye (NaOH). Get the lye dissolved. This is exothermic, so let it cool down before proceeding to step two: add a handful of crumpled pieces of aluminum foil. Then put a balloon over the neck of the bottle and fill with hydrogen. Alternatively, light the hydrogen that's coming off the bottle for a self-fueling lamp.


could you use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) instead of using lye? and how does the aluminum foil cause the hydrogen to split away from the oxygen without electrolysis?


It's just displacement...there's no electrolysis needed if the reaction can sustain itself (as, here, it can).

Alternatively, mix the lye and aluminum foil in a 2-liter soda bottle, then cap very tightly and throw it far, far away from you (into a bonfire for added fun). Then duck behind a wall and enjoy. =D

(Hasn't the idea put forward in the previous two sentences already been posted somewhere on this thread? Or maybe it was elsewhere on the forums...oh well, I've seen it somewhere around here.)

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:13 am UTC
by Scythe of Vyse
I would like to do some home experiments related to gardening, Has anyone in the past done any on the same?

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:11 am UTC
by The-Rabid-Monkey
Scythe of Vyse wrote:I would like to do some home experiments related to gardening, Has anyone in the past done any on the same?


As in? Getting a whole bunch of seeds an bringing them up in different conditions and soil types etc? I've done some minor ones, just seeing if certain fertilisers work better than others and etc.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:59 pm UTC
by Prions
This is one of my favorite experiments.

Get some:

Dry ice (easy to obtain nowadays, any food shipped cross country usually comes with it).
A water bottle (sure you can go bigger, but you risk losing your limbs).


Empty the water bottle, leaving only about 1/8 of the water in. Cut the dry ice with a knife, because it will chop cleaner and not smash into dust. Get a couple quarter sized pieces and put them into the water bottle.

Close the cap and chuck it! The explosion will be loud and awesome. If you throw it in water you can feel the shockwave. :wink:


Sublimation at its best!

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:08 am UTC
by The-Rabid-Monkey
I love the dry ice bomb, but it has been mentioned on here, several times actually :P

Re:

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:08 pm UTC
by Aelfyre
MFHodge wrote:How do you get from here:
evilbeanfiend wrote:put chocolate or cheese or something in a microwave with the rotating plate removed. cook for a few seconds until the chocolate/cheese is melted in some places.

To here:
evilbeanfiend wrote:this gives you the wavelength of your microwaves. the frequency should be 2.5 GHz (from water absorption spectra, or teh internets) the speed of light is then the frequency times the wavelength
???



he forgot step 3.


PROFIT!

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:28 pm UTC
by Wildcard
Okay, I've only read the first three pages, so apologies if someone else has already mentioned this. A quick search indicates it hasn't been, but I could be wrong....

This is truly an experiment, meaning I had no idea what would happen, nor did my teacher. Not quite a "home experiment", but that describes 95% of this thread anyways.
Upon noticing that the melting point of sodium is 98 degrees Celcius, I asked my teacher what would happen if we melted some. He didn't know and we decided to find out. We used a clamp to hold an ordinary teaspoon at an appropriate height over a bunsen burner, put a small lump of sodium in the spoon and lit the burner.

A quick google reveals that 883 is the *boiling* point of sodium and that bunsen burners can reach about 1500 degrees, which might exlain what happened. What happened was that the sodium melted and then began to burn, not dramatically or explosively, but very beautifully. Little blobs of flame pouring over each other from the top of the lump of sodium, flaring something like sap does when you burn a log in the fireplace, but much slower. Also it gave off a plume of very very dark, black smoke that didn't disperse but went straight up to the ceiling. (Yes, we were doing this inside, which probably wasn't very wise.) Judging by the boiling point of sodium, this may very well have been sodium in its gaseous form.

A note to anyone attempting this: stay WELL AWAY from the plume! I was several feet away (under protest) and only caught a whiff of a strange smell, but I had the worse cough I've ever had for about a week afterwards.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) my teacher's tolerance had just about met the end of its tether at this point, and I never did get to try pouring melted sodium in water, or in hydrochloric acid, or approaching the plume of black smoke with lighted magnesium...I suppose I should thank him for getting me through high school with all my limbs intact. :D

(Yes, I am rather a pyro. What of it?)

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:35 am UTC
by oxoiron
Did you keep the sodium from being exposed to moisture while you were heating it?

How did you get rid of the oil in which the sodium was stored?

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:19 am UTC
by Prions
You should get that cough checked out.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:57 pm UTC
by Wildcard
And now I have read up to this point!

oxoiron wrote:Did you keep the sodium from being exposed to moisture while you were heating it?

How did you get rid of the oil in which the sodium was stored?


No, and we didn't. :P We just winged it. I did wear safety goggles and kept my distance, though, as it could have exploded.

Prions wrote:You should get that cough checked out.


This was years ago, in High School. The cough passed after about a week. But thanks for caring!

Random reminiscence about other wacky experiments spoilered for medium length.
Spoiler:
That was a very cool teacher, though. We did all sorts of fun things. I remember when I read that silicon is a metallic substance and I was asking him what that meant, exactly. I don't remember it well enough to list, but it has to do with the properties of metal, which include conductivity and malleability. Metallic substances have some of the properties of metal but not all of them. I remember asking him "So if I smashed silicon with a hammer, it would shatter rather than bend, because it's metallic as opposed to a metal?" His response was to give me a little piece of silicon and a hammer and send me outside. :) It turns out that silicon dust is a rather interesting shade of purple, a color similar to that of gaseous iodine (which we also made, outside, by the simple expedient of heating a pellet of iodine in a crucible using a Bunsen burner).

He also had a jar with about a pint and a half of lead azide pellets, which according to him you can't buy, since it is so explosive. He made it himself. Powerful stuff. He only demonstrated with it once, with a piece maybe a quarter the size of a pea.

If that lab ever burns down there won't be a school anymore. :D

However, I'm wandering slightly off topic.

As far as home experiments go, there is the classic one of putting a daisy in a cup of water, and another daisy in a cup of water with food coloring, and observing them after a week. Alternatively, split the stem up the middle and put half in each cup, but I haven't tried that myself so I can't confirm that it actually works. (It's supposed to make half of the daisy one color while the other half remains unchanged.)

There's another very simple one that most people on here would (apparently) find quite dull, but you can rig up a block and tackle with spools and rope and some hangers (or dowel rods or something) and demonstrate the physics that allows you to lift quite heavy things with almost no effort.

Original Poster wrote:BTW, I was hoping for some more experiments you can actually do with homemade materials, not ones requiring liquid nitro, dry ice etc. Although they're cool, they require quite a bit more work that I was thinking. :-)


After 9 pages filled almost exclusively with ways of making things blow up, I move that we actually list some *home* experiments once more. :wink:

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:44 pm UTC
by oxoiron
Wildcard wrote:...the sodium melted and then began to burn, not dramatically or explosively, but very beautifully. Little blobs of flame pouring over each other from the top of the lump of sodium, flaring something like sap does when you burn a log in the fireplace, but much slower. Also it gave off a plume of very very dark, black smoke that didn't disperse but went straight up to the ceiling. (Yes, we were doing this inside, which probably wasn't very wise.) Judging by the boiling point of sodium, this may very well have been sodium in its gaseous form.
Since the sodium was in a liquid state and open to the atmosphere, it could easily have reacted with water or oxygen, producing the lovely light display you described. It strikes me as highly unlikely that sodium is black in its gas phase, so I'm guessing the smoke was produced by burning oil.

Re:

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:20 am UTC
by marcosdumay
Vaniver wrote:1. Find some alcohol-based liquid (alcohol will work fine, but you probably want to dilute it a bit).
2. Cover hand in said liquid.
3. Light hand on fire.
4. Wave hand to extinguish fire. (Optional)

5. Remember to not turn that hand down for a while.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:02 pm UTC
by Kidiri
I haven't done it (yet), but I'm wondering what would happen if you took a regular railgun and connected the ends of each rail with it's other end. So you get two circles with a sludge in between. Then run a current through it and what? That's what I'm wondering. I think that if the wires stay at the same place, the sludge will move along the track, accelerating up until it's on the other side of the track, from where it will start slowing down. If the wires move along with the sludge, My guess is that it would start accelerating and continue to do so, until erm... something happens.

And what about a spudgun with reactions, such as baking soda/vinegar, dry ice/water, and lot's of other gas-forming reactions? Make sure your barrel is strong enough, put a valve in it to accumulate the gas from slower reactions, have some ammo ready and see which is the best.

Unfortunately, I live in a city, so I don't think I would be able to make a spudgun. And for the first experiment I don't have the materials (yet?)

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
by Solid Freeman
sgt york wrote:2) Can crush
MATERIALS
-Soda can
-A little water
-A heat source (stove, burner, fire, whatever)
-A bowl of ice water
-Tongs (or asbestos hands)

-Put a little water in the bottom of the can. 2-3cm in the bottom is adequate
-Use the tongs to hold it over the heat source until it starts boiling.
-QUICKLY turn the can over and dunk the top 4-5cm in the icewater. Make sure the entire opening is submerged, and try not to fling boiling water around the room.


The rapid change in temperature causes a dramatic drop in air pressure in the can, causing it to collapse. You will also draw a good bit of water into the can.



Did this with some Discovery Channel guys for a TV thing, managed to do it a couple of times but couldn't do it consistently; that part was cut out, which was a shame because it was the only one in which my acting wasn't completely horrible. :roll:

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:41 am UTC
by Jakalak
A pretty cool one with easy to find ingredients.

MATERIALS:
-2 liter container of something.
-small amount of rubbing alcohol
-A match

Okay, so to start, drink everything in your 2-liter and clean it out with water. Having done this, put a little bit of rubbing alcohol, (around half a cups worth should do it, add more if needed) shake the 2 liter. Now, stand away from the back of the bottle, and strike a match (or use another kind of igniter) and watch as the bottle goes shooting backwards! The reason this happens is because all of the rubbing alcohol is expanding so fast it has to get out of the 2 liter so it propels it across the room/yard.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:49 pm UTC
by breintje
I know a similar thing known as the Paper Jet Engine. This works by making a paper cube with a hole on 1 side, filling it with lighter gas and ignite. It should give a sort of FOOSH and fly a few feet away, more like a paper rocket. see here for (not mine) instructions: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/458165/do_try_this_at_home_episode_2_jet_engine/.

A lot of fun can also be had with Bug Zappers, the "electrical flyswatter" as we know it in the Netherlands. I had some broken ones, so took the "racket" off and soldered some leads on. This combined with the classical modification, cutting out the resistor through which the capacitor discharges slowly, should be in series with the racket, gives fun effects. This cutting makes the voltage somewhat higher, but mostly it causes the capacitor to stay charged for a long time. Fun when friends do not believe they get a shock, as "I had already released the button" and jump halfway across the room.
A neat experiment is about ionizing air due to flames. When you charge the zapper and bring the leads together it sparks at about 1 milimetre. Now charge it again, keep the leads 5 - 10 mm apart and hold a ignited lighter underneath. It will spark despite that the distance would be too far normally. This does not seam to work with holding the flame under a regular bug zapper with the racket still attached, only with wires.

My favorite however is an airgun I made using a ball valve, soda bottle and some copper plumbing. I've been shooting 12mm (half inch) ball bearings trough 2cm fibre board plates, and loads of other various projectiles. Still have to test an Ice bullet though, the mythbusters failed to shoot one by firearm, perhaps it will work this way.

Re: Favorite home experiments

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:58 am UTC
by flameburn
Kyo wrote:Thermite and/or nitrogen triiodide

'cause thermite is an explosion and nitrogen triiodide is an explosion... that's purple



I'd like to point out that thermite does NOT explode...it merely burns really, REALLY hot.