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Pupils Enthralled by RSC Flash, Bang Show

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Almost 1000 pupils from 20 schools from across the North-West travelled to Bolton School to spectate on this year’s Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Christmas Lecture.

Dr Frank Mair of the University of Manchester held the Great Hall audience mesmerised over the course of two presentations as he delivered a series of exciting chemistry experiments live on stage. Whilst this was a basic introduction to the world of atoms, molecules, solids, liquids and gases, there was no compromising on excitement! The science behind each colourful flash and percussive bang was fully explained with students enjoying a wide range of demonstrations, including sublimation and the formation of dry ice, a wonderful display of chemiluminescence using nitrogen monoxide and carbon disulfide, liquid nitrogen being used to create bright blue liquid oxygen and the explosive powers of hydrogen were demonstrated with Dr Mair popping hydrogen-filled balloons with a much louder bang than the helium variety! The propulsive powers of this highly reactive element were also revealed as he fired hydrogen-powered bottle-rockets across the Boys’ Division Great Hall, much to the delight of the audience! In what was a fascinating presentation, the Chemistry students also learnt about the everyday practical applications of these reactions. 

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