In a recent science lecture that will leave health and safety experts scratching their heads, Plymouth Universities Dr Roy Lowry creates and explodes a home made liquid nitrogen bomb.
In a scene you’d more likely expect to see on Mythbusters the Professor first pours liquid nitrogen into an empty plastic bottle and tightens the cap. He then proceeds to pour a bucket of warm water into an empty rubbish bin.
After doing this Dr Lowry places the sealed bottle of liquid nitrogen into the warm water. Along with his assistant he then quickly empty’s two bags of ping pong (table tennis) balls into the bin on top of the bottle and water.
Knowing what is coming they quickly run to a safer distance moments before the bottle explodes, raising the bin off the ground and 1500 table tennis balls high into the air.
The only health and safety advice offered to onlookers is to cover their ears with their hands and not to put their fingers in their ears.
You can’t help but think it would have been more advisable to conduct this explosive demonstration outdoors but you can’t deny it was entertaining.
Perhaps if more lecturers and teachers took this approach we’d see more students taking an interest in science.