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This is a question Home Science

Have you split the atom in your kitchen? Made your own fireworks? Fired a bacon rocket through your window?
We love home science experiments - tell us about your best, preferably with instructions.

Extra points for lost eyebrows / nasal hair / limbs

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:25)
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Home Science? I get to do this stuff at work!
Although there is an element of 'home science' about it (i.e., we don't know what we're doing most of the time). I've been party to many 'what happens if?' scenarios, such as 'does that big laser hurt if it's pointed at your hand?' (it does and burnt skin smells like burnt chicken) and 'let's recreate the scene in Terminator 2 where the T1000 get's covered in liquid nitrogen'. I also worked with an analytical chemist who said it was good to have an acid burn once in a while because 'it makes you feel alive!'.

The best one for a while though, was a colleague of mine studying reactions between organic acids and clay minerals under extreme conditions (high pressures and temperatures). The top scientist put the mix of clay mineral and acid in a platinum container, cranked up the pressure and let it all sit there at 1000 degrees for a few hours. Fantastic, except it went boom after about 5 minutes. We think (we don't know for sure) the platinum catalyzed the release of hydrogen from the acid, which (at 1000 degrees) was not too happy. Luckily nobody was in the immediate vicinity, otherwise it could have been quite nasty, but it did end up costing a few thousand pounds and the scientist in question was advised to look into something else (how to get a new job, probably).
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 12:41, 3 replies)
Analytical chemists
I am one, and I and my team are all that freaky - I think it comes with the job.

Organics can be so dull, sometimes you need to liven it up a bit.....
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 11:29, closed)
You guys are mad,
and scary to go out drinking with!
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 15:34, closed)
Just you wait
until you get one of us in a cocktail bar :)

Your liver will hate you, but you'll never drink the same drink twice.
(, Tue 14 Aug 2012, 10:29, closed)

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