18 February 2014
One of my coworkers brings a science experiment into the office every week. Magnets and an aluminum tube to demonstrate eddy currents, a Van de Graaff generator to demonstrate static electricity, various demonstrations of crystallization. Normally after glancing at the equipment I know what to expect, but this one was a surprise to me.
The equipment consisted of two light sockets connected in series, connected to 120v. One bulb was intact. The other was smashed, with the filament removed. All that was left was the central glass insulator that kept the two live wires separate. Then a blow torch was applied.
The room was fairly cold, so the reaction wasn't quite self-sustaining. But it was very close.
Here's a better video from Harvard of the setup, but without any explanation of the science.