Things that go bang

Andrew Beattie andrew at
Mon Jan 15 19:37:52 GMT 2007

Dirk Koopman wrote:
> Alternatively (as happened at school many years ago [and not by me]) 
> leave in store room of physics lab, wait for bang, go into store room 
> after a safe interval and marvel at the daylight coming through the 
> ragged hole in ceiling and roof above.


A good friend of mine(*) was introduced to bunsen burners at school 
where the first lesson included holding various things in tongs and 
observing what happened to the flame.

He tried it with a metal pencil sharpener, which turned out to be made 
from magnesium.  It burnt white hot, melted the end off the tongs, 
burned down through the solid wooden bench, the cupboards underneath and 
stopped only at the concrete floor.

Which reminds me... could I make thermite by attacking an iron bars and 
coke cans with an angle grinder to make powdered iron and aluminium, 
leaving the iron outdoors for a while to rust, then merely mixing and 
igniting with a sparkler?


(*)that's a FOAF to you, so you may wish to regard this as an urban legend

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