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Science Explosion!

Want to see a real science explosion?

This explosive demo shows that chemicals often need to be mixed in just the right proportions.

  • Take an old paint can, and punch a hole in the lid and several holes near the bottom.
  • Take the lid off, and fill it with gas. (Remember methane is lighter than air, so hold the can upside down while you fill it.)
  • Put the lid back on, and light a flame above the hole.
  • Casually move away from the paint can while explaining that in order for the gas to burn it needs oxygen, so the gas burns only as it enters the air.
  • Casually mention that if you had the right amount of air inside the can, it would burn inside the can-- there could even be an explosion.
  • As you're talking air will be entering the can from the bottom.
  • Your demonstration will end with a bang.
  • Needless to say, you should practice this demo before doing it in front of students.

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