Explore Hydrogen: WARNING DANGER!

Hydrogen: it’s the most common element in our universe, the main ingredient in stellar fusion, and the lightest element of them all. We love to play with hydrogen in the classroom because it’s highly combustible, which means it’s great for explosions! In this experiment — which is not one we recommend for home DIY — we’ll fill soap bubbles with hydrogen and light them on fire.

HydrogenBubbles3

Warning: Don’t try this at home!

Hydrogen and oxygen react to form water molecules. So, how do they create such violent explosions? The water molecules have less potential energy than the sum of their hydrogen & oxygen parts, and that extra energy has to go somewhere. It’s released as light and heat! This kind of reaction is called exothermic.

HydrogenBubbles4

Warning: Don’t try this at home!

In this experiment we trap hydrogen inside of soap bubbles until we’re ready to trigger an explosion. Any container will do the trick, though, as long as it doesn’t block the activation energy. A balloon full of hydrogen creates a bigger fireball than the bubbles you see here. A single spark transforms a blimp filled with hydrogen into a massive firestorm– exactly what happened in the Hindenburg tragedy of 1937. Once the explosion is set in motion, it continues until all available fuel is consumed, for better or for worse.

Hindenburg

Photo credit: NBC News

WELCOME TO OUR ASTROCAMP BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampschool.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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