Archive for December 2011

Post 4: From an ASE Teachmeet.   Leave a comment

For this week’s contribution I am grateful to James.  A couple of weeks ago we had a wonderful SciTeachMeet at Hallam’s Science Learning centre.  It was a great evening of shared expertise and ideas, and I left with a great to do list of things to investigate further.  I thought I knew all the best burning and blowing things up experiments but this was a new one on me.

Please note ” If you want to do this experiment you will need to do your own risk assessment.  As of the present moment I have not contacted CLEAPS to check the “official” guidance. Do this at your own risk”      There that’s the disclaimer out of the way.

Table tennis balls are made out of a pure hydrocarbon… when hydrocarbons burn completely they produce??? thats right carbon dioxide and water.  So when table-tennis balls burn they should burn away to nothing.  And who would have thought…thats exactly what they do. (all but a bit of ash which comes from the glue used to stick the two halves together, James tells me he has had a perfect ring of ash on a couple of occasions)

James with his flaming ball

The details;-

Wear safety goggles, couple of heat proof mats down, well ventilated room

 (the usual stuff)

Take a table tennis ball and make two holes in it (this is very very important, they explode otherwise, very dangerous if you don’t)

Jam your tongs into one of the holes and at arm’s length put it into the flame of a bunsen.

Be prepared to be amazed!!!


Posted December 4, 2011 by agittner in Uncategorized