The intrepid team of chemists led by Dr Hal Sosabowski (University of Brighton) welcomed the audience by setting fire to soap bubbles that blazed in the air, and followed it with a rousing helium chorus of the Sonny & Cher classic I've Got You Babe. Anyone familiar with the Chemistry Show, now in its fourth year at Imperial, will be used to flashing lights, loud bangs and acres of smoke filling the lecture theatre - and this year provided all these things and more!
Old classics such as the Phosphorus Sun wowed the audience as liquid oxygen and hot phosphorous were mixed to produce a glowing white light that filled the lecture theatre. Typically, explosions soon followed as solid carbon dioxide and hot water were mixed inside sealed bottles and left to explode, fortunately missing the safety office in the front row!
Mike Sansom (Brighton Fireworks) continued the light and noise themes with some coloured pyrotechnic displays and then used highly explosive Lead Azide to blow up bean cans and send them hurtling towards the SAFB ceiling. Then, Max Whitby, a Chemistry student from Imperial, celebrated passing his viva that very afternoon by placed an incandescent light bulb filament in liquid nitrogen and turned on the electricity to create a bright light. From radioactive crockery to liquid nitrogen, from tungsten to lead, the chemists and the audience certainly braved the elements this year!
At the end of the show everyone moved to the Queen's Lawn marquee to continue the entertainment. Students enjoyed the interactive periodic table and chemistry exhibition provided by the demonstrators, whilst others filled in the table top quiz which proved once again that no one knew who the Directors of the Graduate School were! The Graduate Schools' band The Main Attraction belted out classic hits from the past four decades and before long the music got everyone on the floor for some interdisciplinary dancing!
The show was recorded and it's now available to watch online.
Next year's event take places on Friday 7th May and is open to all postgraduate students. Full details will be available nearer the time?