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Cannon Fire

This demonstration shows the oxidisation of hydrogen peroxide using ethanol and potassium permanganate. An exciting illustration of energy changes, the sound of these substances reacting with each other sounds like cannon fire.

Chemiluminescent Ammonia Fountain

This is a dramatic demonstration of chemiluminesence. When a small amount of water is injected into the flask containing ammonia, the ammonia dissolves. The reduction in pressure causes two solutions to be simultaneously drawn into and mixed in the inverted flask. This should produce a bright blue luminescent...


This demonstration shows how a mixture of hydrogen and air becomes explosive.

The initial pop is probably caused by a small portion of the hydrogen leaking out, mixing with the air immediately above the hole and forming a minute combustible mixture.

As more hydrogen escapes through the top hole, it...

Gas Explosion

This demonstration illustrates the explosive nature of gas/air mixtures. The gas used in laboratory Bunsen burners (methane) normally burns with a blue or yellow flame. However, mixtures with air explode when the concentration of the methane is between 5 and 15%.

Howling Jelly Baby

In this demonstration, the carbohydrate in the jelly baby is oxidised by the molten potassium chlorate(V). The jelly baby ignites and burns furiously with a high pitched roar, showing that food stuffs provide energy.

The Non-burning £5 Note

In this demonstration, a piece of paper is soaked in ethanol and water, the ethanol burns but the water prevents the paper burning. To make this demonstration very exciting, a £5 note can be used.

Zinc Christmas Tree

In this demonstration of a displacement reaction, a piece of foil in the shape of a Christmas tree is placed in lead nitrate solution. Within a few minutes the tree becomes covered with sparkling crystals of lead.

Episode 506: Particles as Waves *suitable for home teaching*

Through demonstrations, discussions and worked examples, students are introduced to the phenomenon of wave-particle duality. Students learn that electrons, which are often thought of as particles, can sometimes behave as waves.

The activities in this learning episode look at:
* demonstrating diffraction...

Episode 117: Kirchhoff’s Laws *suitable for home teaching*

From the Institute of Physics, this learning episode links Kirchhoff’s circuit laws to the conservation of charge and energy. Students can verify the laws experimentally and use them to solve simple circuit problems.

This learning episode involves the following activities:
• demonstrating the...

Episode 100: Preparation for Electric Current Topic *suitable for home teaching*

From the Institute of Physics, this topic looks at basic electrical ideas, particularly current, potential difference and energy. The topic is split into teaching episodes. These are self-contained activities of varying time periods. The topics in this section include:

Episode 101:...


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