Kids React to Fireballs!

It’s safe to say that fireballs are one of the most popular parts of the Yuck Science live show on Zoom. Watch the students from Eastlawn Elementary in Burlington, North Carolina react to fireballs I make during the show. They are a lot of fun! Don’t miss last 30 seconds of the video when you can see the fire is slow motion. It’s really cool!

The fire is made by blowing lycopodium powder through a flame. Lycopodium powder is a spore from a plant known a club moss. You can see a photo of the plant below.

Lycopodium clavatum, also know as club moss

The fire looks scary, but it isn’t even flamable unless it is blown into the air like a dust. The dust burns very quickly, so there isn’t enough time for anything around it to catch fire. Lycopodium is commonly used by special effects artists because it is a relatively safe way to create a dramatic effect.

There is another post coming soon about the science and other cool characteristics of lycopodium. Be sure to follow this blog using the subscription form below if you would like to see more!

Liquid Nitrogen Smoke Cloud!

Among my favorite new pieces of science equipment are my liquid nitrogen dewars. A dewar is a special container designed to store liquefied gases. It is like a special thermos but much larger. When you have a dewar and are trained in safely handling one, you can do science experiments with liquid nitrogen.

Liquid nitrogen is a super cold liquid version of nitrogen. It is so cold that is boils at −320 °F. That is 352 degrees colder than the temperature that makes water freeze. And it is even colder when it is still a liquid! That’s cold!

My first dewar after filled for the very first time! It weighs over 100 pounds filled and is being loaded into the Yuckmobile with a forklift!
My second dewar is the one I use for shows. It is much smaller an has a blue wrap. My sometimes co-host Luke is shown with it here!

One of my favorite demonstrations with liquid nitrogen is making a ‘smoke cloud.’ The smoke is actually a nitrogen being released as a vapor. In this demonstration, you poor warm water into a container of liquid nitrogen. The extreme temperature change causes the nitrogen to turn into a vapor immediately, and if you watch closely, you can see little chunks fly out, which are piece of a ice that were instantly frozen by the liquid nitrogen. That’s really, really cold!

Making a ‘smoke cloud’ with liquid nitrogen

Follow this blog or subscribe to the Yuck Science youtube channel to see more liquid nitrogen demonstrations soon!