Kitchen Science List

  • An Invisible Fire Extinguisher

    Sun, 13th Nov 2005

    Put out fires without using water, using an invisible fire extinguisher which won't stain the carpet.

  • Featured

    Rubens' Tube - waves of fire

    Wed, 21st Apr 2010

    One of the most beautiful and impressive physics demos is Rubens' tube, producing waves of fire that dance to the sound coming from a loudspeaker.

  • Blood Circulation

    Sun, 17th Feb 2008

    Do one of the experiments that helped to convince doctors that blood actually circulates around your body.

  • Blowing on bottles

    Sun, 2nd Mar 2008

    Discover the musical properties of a few old bottles...

  • Blowing out a candle

    Fri, 28th May 2010

    As I was playing with candles this week and had a high speed camera I thought it would be interesting to watch one being blown out in slow motion...

  • Blowing out candles around corners

    Sun, 19th Dec 2010

    Find out how to blow out candles behind solid objects

  • Boiling Yoghurt Pots

    Sat, 22nd Oct 2005

    Discover the strange things that happen to a yoghurt pot if you heat it up, and find out what is going on.

  • Bouncing Soap

    Sat, 6th Aug 2011

    Make liquid soap or washing up liquid bounce off more soap.

  • Build a Lava lamp

    Sat, 2nd Sep 2006

    Build a cool lava lamp using just materials from your kitchen and find out how a real one works.

  • Build your own airbrush - Applying Bernoulli

    Sun, 29th Nov 2009

    Find out how to build an airbrush to produce beautifully smooth paint finishes, and what this has to do with a car engine.

  • Build your own Compass

    Sun, 14th Oct 2007

    Build your own navigational aid from stuff you could find in your kitchen.

  • Build your own helicopter

    Sun, 1st Nov 2009

    Build your own helicopter using just a piece of card, some tape, and a few pencils.

  • Butter from cream

    Sun, 8th Jan 2006

    FInd out what happens to cream if you whip it, and the consequences of whipping it slightly too much.

  • Butter Side Down

    Sun, 16th Dec 2007

    Are you the sort of person who finds that whenever you knock some toast off the table it ends up butter side down. Find out if the toast gods are unhappy with you, or if there is something more scientific going on.

  • Can Bees Fly? - Insect Aerodynamics

    Sun, 6th Jun 2010

    There is an urban myth that 'science' says that a bee can't fly - so we thought we should look into it. You can try too with just a pond and your hand...

  • Can you beat the Breathalyzer

    Sun, 17th Dec 2006

    If you've ever wondered how a police issue breathalyser works - this kitchen science is for you. This week Derek, Mick McReedy the friendly policeman and Ali the Aussie backpacker visit Ely Firestation to investigate science of alcohol, drinking, and breathalysing. Find out if y...

  • Catching Insects with Pitfall Traps

    Sat, 17th Jun 2006

    Set a pitfall trap for some of the wild animals in your garden, using just an old plastic cup, and investigate the fascinating world of bugs.

  • Chlorophyll Chromatography

    Sun, 21st Mar 2010

    Find out some of the pigments in a leaf using some easy household materials.

  • Cloud in a bottle

    Sun, 20th May 2007

    Build your very own weather system in a bottle, and find out how the same principle can make it rain.

  • Coke Can Eruption

    Sun, 24th Jun 2007

    Does tapping the top of a can keep you safe from a fizz eruption?

  • Colour your own flowers

    Sun, 21st Jun 2009

    Find out how to make your own garishly coloured flowers, and how it relates to the way plants lift water to their leaves.

  • Colours from carrots - Staining

    Sat, 22nd May 2010

    How grated carrot and some ink can teach us about staining cells

  • Colours in CDs

    Sun, 7th Dec 2008

    You may have noticed funky colours in CDs before, but where do they come from and why do they look different if you look at different lights?

  • Confusing colours

    Sun, 12th Jul 2009

    Confuse your eyes with this colourful experiment, and find out how it relates to seeing in the dark

  • Cool coin launcher

    Mon, 17th Oct 2011

    Produce a coin launcher powered by your freezer

  • Cooling Glow Sticks

    Sun, 5th Feb 2006

    See what happens to a glow stick when you cool it down, and find out why this is important to snakes.

  • Cornflour and Gravy

    Sun, 26th Feb 2006

    Thickening liquids using the power of cornflour

  • Crisp Packet Fireworks

    Mon, 21st May 2007

    Produce fireworks in your kitchen, using nothing more than a crisp packet and a humble microwave.

  • Crystals on a piece of wool

    Sun, 27th Apr 2008

    Make some strange crystals on a piece of string with things you would find at home.

  • Cup Fountain

    Sun, 1st Jul 2007

    Make a fountain, and some fascinating patterns with a polystyrene cup and a piece of carpet.

  • Custard Fireballs

    Sun, 4th Mar 2007

    How the size of what is burning can affect how it burns. We compared burning logs, twigs, paper and custard powder.

  • Cycle Centrifuge

    Sun, 6th Dec 2009

    Use a bike and some salad dressing to find out how blood is separated and how nuclear fuel is made.

  • Disappearing monitors - the power of polarisation

    Sun, 22nd Mar 2009

    If you have ever wanted to know how to make something on your computer screen disappear then find out here. Also find out why you should use polarised sunglasses and how an LCD monitor works.

  • Dissolving eggs - the power of enzymes

    Sun, 16th May 2010

    Dissolve some eggs and find out the difference between Biological and non-Biological washing powders, and that not all washing powders are the same.

  • DIY CD Hovercraft

    Sun, 9th May 2010

    Make a neat little hovercraft using a CD and a balloon.

  • DIY Photovoltaic Solar cell

    Sun, 7th Mar 2010

    Find out how to build your own solar cell, it may not solve the world's energy problem, but it is made from recycled components.

  • DIY Rainbow - how a rainbow forms

    Sun, 28th Mar 2010

    Make your own rainbow with this simple kitchen science, though you will have to provide your own pot of gold.

  • Dizziness and Office Chairs

    Sat, 21st Oct 2006

    Investigate what is happening when you get dizzy in some perculiar directions, with nothing but an office chair, and some soft grass.

  • Does a mint make your mouth cold?

    Sun, 14th Dec 2008

    Does a mint actually make your mouth cold? And for that matter does chilli make it hot? We try and find out.

  • Drop Magnifier

    Sun, 11th Jan 2009

    Make the cheapest microscope in the world, using a piece of plastic and some water. And find out what it has to do with sneezing on your TV screen!

  • Dropping Eggs

    Sun, 19th Jul 2009

    How to stop an egg from breaking when dropped without any padding, and what it has to do with a womb.

  • Echolocation

    Sun, 4th Oct 2009

    Build your own primitive sonar with a computer and a microphone, and find out how this relates to medical ultrasound.

  • Electric Slime

    Sat, 14th Apr 2007

    Make some seemingly normal slime that behaves very strangely with electricity

  • Eureka!

    Sun, 8th Jun 2008

    We recreate Archimedes' experiment to find out whether what claims to be gold is really gold, using some fairly basic equipment.

  • Experimenting with gases and liquid nitrogen

    Sat, 7th Oct 2006

    This week Derek is with Dr Chris Muirhead from Birmingham University and student volunteer Mary from Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. They'll be using liquid nitrogen, which is very cold and can be very dangerous. Chris has special liquid nitrogen safety training, and...

  • Exploding Film Canisters

    Sun, 24th Jan 2010

    Find out how to make a mini-explosion using a film canister, and find out how your explosion relates to real explosives, such as gunpowder.

  • Falling Cards

    Sat, 4th Jun 2011

    Confuse your friends with this slightly unorthodox card trick

  • Falling Mugs

    Sun, 2nd Aug 2009

    Scare all your friends by dropping a mug with seemingly nothing to stop it hitting the floor, and find out what this has to do with ice skating.

  • Fastest Melting Ice

    Sun, 29th Jun 2008

    Does the speed of ice melting depend on what surface it's on? We compare an ice cube on a frying pan to an ice cube on a chopping board...

  • Fire Piston

    Sat, 21st Apr 2007

    You may have noticed that if you pump up a bicycle tyre your pump gets hot, we find out why, and do a slightly more extreme version

  • Fireproof Balloon

    Sun, 10th Apr 2011

    How to hold a balloon over a candle without it bursting

  • Fizzes from peroxide

    Sun, 21st Sep 2008

    Use the power of catalysis to create oxygen and relight a piece of wood, and we give the same reaction a more explosive twist.

  • Floating a Needle

    Sun, 22nd Jul 2007

    Float steel on water with nothing more sophisticated than a piece of toilet paper.

  • Flour Volcano

    Sun, 15th Jun 2008

    Build a model of some of the largest volcanoes on the planet, using some flour and a balloon.

  • Flubber

    Sun, 25th Jan 2009

    Make a truly irresistible rubbery solid that you just can't keep your hands off...

  • Flying Protractors - the power of ground effect

    Sun, 20th Sep 2009

    Make stationery glide serenely across a tabletop, and find out how this relates to some of the largest aircraft ever built.

  • Flying Tubes

    Mon, 10th Dec 2007

    Make an old kitchen,or toilet, roll tube fly and find out what it has to do with David Beckham's free kicks.

  • Freezing batteries

    Sun, 28th Jun 2009

    We have a look at the chemistry of batteries and what happens if you cool them down.

  • Freezing Objects in Liquid Nitrogen

    Sat, 3rd Jun 2006

    Derek and Chris cool down various objects down to about -196°C and discover their properties have radically changed.

  • Fruit Fireballs

    Sun, 5th Jul 2009

    You may think that oranges are a boring fruit. Discover their more exciting side in this simple experiment.

  • Frying pans and Levitation

    Sun, 29th Oct 2006

    This week Derek Thorne is with Professor Ted Forgan from Birmingham University and student helpers Cathy and Dan from Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. They're going to be using a frying pan and some liquid nitrogen to demonstrate the science of superconductivity.

  • Fun with filters

    Sun, 7th Feb 2010

    One of the most basic ways of cleaning water is to use a filter. If you fancy getting a little dirty, why not have a go?

  • Getting water from a candle

    Sun, 6th Jul 2008

    Extract water from a candle using nothing more complex than a pint glass.

  • Ghostly Windows

    Sun, 23rd Nov 2008

    Make you and a friend seem to appear and dissapear or even stand in the same place, just using a piece of glass.

  • Glowing tape

    Sun, 30th Nov 2008

    Find out how to make ordinary sellotape glow in the dark, and how it has been used to make an X-ray.

  • Glueing glasses

    Sun, 2nd Nov 2008

    Stick two glasses together using the power of hot air.

  • Going loopy for bubbles

    Sun, 20th Jul 2008

    We discover a surprising feature of bubbles using only bubble mix, wool and a coat hanger!

  • Grape Plasmas

    Sun, 19th Oct 2008

    Create plasmas from a humble grape in your microwave.

  • Hollow Flame - looking inside a candle flame

    Fri, 28th May 2010

    Look inside a candle using nothing more sophisticated than a sieve, and find out how the same principle saved thousands of lives.

  • How a Smoke Detector Works

    Sun, 11th Feb 2007

    Most people think radiation is a bad thing, but if you take a look inside a humble smoke detector, you'll find that its radiation that's keeping us alive. However, you should NOT attempt to open the radioactive compartment of a smoke detector as close-up exposure to the radiatio...

  • How does popping candy work?

    Sun, 25th Jul 2010

    Popping candy or pop rocks is a strange sort of children's sweet which seems to explode inside your mouth we try to investigate what is going on.

  • How does sun cream work?

    Sat, 15th Jul 2006

    With the summer holidays approaching, Derek and Dave head off to Hinchingbrooke School to find out why wearing the white stuff is the cool thing to do.

  • How to make a forcefield

    Sat, 16th Sep 2006

    This week Derek and Dave are venturing bravely into the future to make their very own forcefield. Providing the man power to do it are Matthew and Robbie from Campers Playscheme, which is held at Hunsbury Park Primary School.

  • How to make Ugali

    Sat, 8th Jul 2006

    This week Kitchen Science travels all the way to Tanzania to find out how to make ugali, the staple food of Tanzania and other parts of East Africa.

  • How to tell if your egg is raw

    Sun, 20th May 2007

    Find out whether your egg is raw or not without having to break it open.

  • How useless is a Chocolate Teapot?

    Sun, 31st Aug 2008

    You have heard the saying, but it is meaningless unless you know exactly how useful a chocolate teapot actually is. We try to find out how thick the walls of a chocolate teapot would have to be to let you brew tea...

  • Images from a Magnifying Glass

    Sun, 6th May 2007

    Make ghostly images on a wall, just using a magnifying glass, and find out what this has to do with a camera.

  • Impaling Potatoes

    Sun, 14th Sep 2008

    If you have ever wondered how to impale a potato with a straw? Then this experiment is for you...

  • Inverted Bucket

    Sun, 27th Jan 2008

    Have a bucket full of water upside down over your head, and stay dry!

  • Jamming Rice

    Sun, 3rd Jun 2007

    Find out how to pick up a jar of rice without touching the jar, and what it has to do with holes in the road.

  • Jet powered boat

    Tue, 7th Jan 2014

    Make a vinegar and bicarb powered jet boat, to sail across your bath

  • Jet powered Rotor

    Sun, 16th Jan 2011

    Make a jet powered rotor and find out why a hoover couldn't power a plane.

  • Jumping Flames

    Sun, 4th Nov 2007

    Make a flame jump several centimetres using just a humble candle.

  • Lard Mountains - Isostacy

    Sun, 18th Oct 2009

    Build some mountains out of lard, and find out why mountains are like icebergs, and what this has to do with England sinking.

  • Laser diffraction

    Thu, 24th Jun 2010

    Make strange patterns using a laser pointer and use them to discover a fundamental property of light

  • Lemon-Powered iPod - Fruit batteries

    Sun, 24th Feb 2008

    There have been various spoof films showing how to charge your ipod using fruit and vegetables. But is it actually possible? Find this out along with how a battery works.

  • Lemonade Volcano

    Tue, 24th Apr 2007

    You may have heard about the Mentos and Coke experiment, find out how to make an erruption with a drinks bottle, and what it has to do with volcanoes.

  • Levitating plastic bags

    Sun, 6th Jan 2008

    Amaze your friends by making a piece of plastic levitate using nothing more sophisticated than a party balloon.

  • Lifting Ice Cubes

    Sun, 7th Jan 2007

    If you've ever wondered why we salt the roads in Winter time - this kitchen science is for you. This week Dave is live in the studio, trying to investigate what happens when you add some salt to an icecube!

  • Lighting bulbs without wires

    Sun, 13th Apr 2008

    Find out how to light a light bulb with no wire in sight using just a balloon and a little hair.

  • Losing Air

    Sun, 26th Feb 2012

    A classic experiment showing what happens to air from a candle when it is enclosed.

  • Magnetic Cereal

    Sun, 10th Jun 2007

    Find out about one of the things that make up your breakfast cereal using a magnet.

  • Magnetic Fingerprinting - Reading a Credit Card

    Sun, 31st Oct 2010

    Magnetic Fingerprinting - see the data which is stored on the magnetic strip of your credit card.

  • Magnets and TVs

    Sun, 21st Oct 2007

    In a 'only do at home if you don't like your TV' experiment find out what a TV has in common with a particle physics experiment.

  • Make an Infra Red Camera

    Sun, 20th Jan 2008

    See the world from a completely different point of view using an old webcam and some exposed film.

  • Make your own Electromagnet

    Sun, 23rd Sep 2007

    Make yourself an electromagnet powered by a small battery and find out some of the mysteries of magnetism.

  • Making a Mess with Milk

    Thu, 10th May 2007

    Make something really quite unpleasant out of milk and find out what it has to do with cheese.

  • Making Music with Harmonics

    Sat, 20th May 2006

    Wendy has a look at what happens when you spin a pink tube around your head.

  • Margarine Planets

    Sun, 15th Nov 2009

    Use a tub of ordinary margarine to model how a planet forms, and to explain why we get different types of meteorite.

  • Matchstick Boats and Surface Tension

    Sat, 27th May 2006

    Build matchstick boats that will zip across a water surface, just powered by soap.

  • Measuring the Speed of Light

    Sun, 27th May 2007

    Measure the highest speed possible in this universe, just using objects you could find in your kitchen.

  • Melting Ice with Salt

    Sun, 17th Jan 2010

    We were asked why councils don't use seawater to melt ice on the roads. Why not find out the answer with an experiment?

  • Monster Bounces

    Sun, 13th Jul 2008

    Make a tennis ball bounce much higher than the height you dropped it from using a neat piece of physics.

  • Motor learning

    Sun, 26th Oct 2008

    Confuse your brain using a mouse. And Ben tries to throw a ball from a differnt perspective.

  • Pepper's Ghost

    Sun, 31st Jan 2010

    Confuse your friends with ghostly candles, and find out how these are related to Victorian theater and fighter aircraft

  • Pinhole camera

    Sun, 6th May 2007

    Make a moving image of what is going on outside using just a cardboard box and the power of a hole.

  • Psychedelic Milk

    Sun, 1st Jun 2008

    Make beautiful moving psychedelic patterns in a bowl of milk with just some food colouring and washing up liquid.

  • Pumping Straw - a centrifugal pump

    Sun, 19th Apr 2009

    Make a pump out of a straw and a skewer and soak all your friends.

  • Racing Jam Jars

    Sun, 29th Apr 2007

    Race Jam Jars down a slope and find out that all things don't allways fall at the same speed.

  • Raising Raisins

    Sun, 8th Jul 2007

    Why do raisins always rise to the top of a box of muesli?

  • Rebounding Drop

    Sun, 12th Oct 2008

    An experiment you can carry out using a cup of tea and a little milk

  • Recycling Paper

    Sun, 26th Jul 2009

    Take some of those old bits of paper and recycle them to make some new paper. It is far more fun than buying recycled paper in a shop.

  • Red Cabbage Litmus

    Sat, 2nd Jun 2007

    Make some cabbage juice and find out it's unexpectedly colourful properties.

  • Remote Interference

    Sun, 3rd Feb 2008

    You know you can use your remote control to save you the immense effort of getting out of your chair, but did you know you could make strange noises from it and a radio?

  • Seeing further - DIY telescope

    Sun, 22nd Feb 2009

    Dave builds a makeshift telescope from a pair of magnifying glasses - but be careful not to get dizzy - the image it produces is upside down!

  • Seeing Remotes

    Sun, 20th Jan 2008

    If you have ever wondered how a remote control communicates with a TV? Well here is your chance to see them chatting away!

  • Seeing the invisible

    Sun, 11th Mar 2007

    Carbon Dioxide is an invisible gas that amongst other things we breath out. In this experiment you can see it.

  • Separating Books

    Sun, 9th Sep 2007

    Using nothing but a tiny bit of friction stick two books together so you can't pull them apart.

  • Silver from soot

    Sun, 1st Feb 2009

    Convert normal soot into a beautiful silvery substance using just a candle, some water and a mug...

  • Simple Motor - Homopolar motor

    Thu, 27th Feb 2014

    This is about the simplest electric motor you can build, and is the same type as the first electric motor built by Michael Faraday

  • Snapping Spaghetti

    Sun, 14th Jun 2009

    What happens when you snap a simple piece of spaghetti? Believe it or not, this is a question that has baffled some of the finest minds in the world. Why not have a go yourself?

  • Sounds from a Mug

    Sat, 20th May 2006

    Make some quite perplexing sounds with a common coffee mug, and a pen.

  • Squashing Bottles

    Sun, 2nd Mar 2008

    What happens to the note a bottle makes when you squash it? What would happen if you then put it underwater? Find out in this kitchen science.

  • Starting fires with the sun

    Sun, 3rd Aug 2008

    Start a fire using the power of the sun and a piece of glass, and find out how it could help with the world's energy crisis.

  • Stopping fogging

    Sun, 9th Dec 2007

    We show you how to stop your mirrors, glasses windows etc. from fogging up in one easy step.

  • Strange Cornflour Slime

    Sun, 12th Feb 2006

    Is it a solid or is it a liquid? Make a really strange mixture and find out how it behaves.

  • Strange Glows from Sugar

    Sun, 25th Feb 2007

    How to make strange unearthly glows by torturing sugar cubes...

  • Strange Temperatures

    Sat, 9th Sep 2006

    Here is a way to entirely fool your senses using only three bowls of water. Have a go if you dare.

  • Strange Textures

    Sun, 2nd Dec 2007

    Confuse your sense of touch with this very easy experiment

  • Straw Oboe

    Sun, 13th Jan 2008

    Can a drinking straw be a musical instrument? Here is how to make a very simple if annoying oboe.

  • Superconducting Levitation

    Sun, 26th Sep 2010

    One of the most bizarre and beautiful pieces of physics is superconductivity

  • Swapping Sounds

    Sun, 10th Jan 2010

    Completely confuse your sense of direction using a couple of hose pipes and some funnels...

  • Swinging for the Sweet Spot

    Sun, 17th Aug 2008

    Have you every wondered why when you hit a ball sometimes it goes miles and other times you just end up with a ball at your feet and a very painful hand? Find out here.

  • The Aerodynamics of a Ping Pong Ball

    Sun, 26th Nov 2006

    If you've ever wanted to make a ping pong ball levitate in mid air - this kitchen science is for you. This week Derek and Hugh Hunt are with Nick and Christian from Norwich School trying to investigate how we can make something levitate without using dodgy magic tricks!

  • The Chemistry of Coppers

    Sun, 14th Jan 2007

    If you've ever wanted your money to have a little extra shine, you can give it a new lease on life using just ordinary stuff you can find in your kitchen! This week Dave is live in the studio, investigating what happens if you put your copper coins into various liquids. Unfortun...

  • The Fastest Way to Empty a Bottle

    Wed, 4th Sep 2013

    How do you empty a bottle as fast as possible without damaging the bottle.

  • The mysterious workings of the common dishwasher

    Sun, 28th Jan 2007

    If you've ever wondered why some plates dry quicker than others - this kitchen science is for you. This week Derek and Hugh Hunt are with Ali and Sandy, trying to investigate how we can purchase plates that speed up our washing cycle!

  • The Potato Arch

    Sun, 19th Sep 2010

    The Arch is an ancient piece of technology that is still common today. If you have a potato or another root vegetable, why not have a go at building one.

  • The Science of Energy in the Gym

    Sun, 21st Jan 2007

    If you've ever wondered how much energy you are capable of putting using your own body and whether that's enough to power the appliances around you - this kitchen science is for you. This week Derek, Dave and Ali are in a gym trying to investigate how many houses Ali can power u...

  • The Secret Sounds of the Oven Shelf

    Sat, 29th Jul 2006

    The kitchen has always seemed an unlikely place to find a musical instrument - until now. This week Derek and Dave are with Matt and Nick at Hinchingbrooke School in search of the hidden harmonies of the oven shelf. Prepare to be amazed!

  • The Secret Sounds of the Oven Shelf

    Sat, 29th Jul 2006

    The kitchen has always seemed an unlikely place to find a musical instrument - until now. This week Derek and Dave are with Matt and Nick at Hinchingbrooke School in search of the hidden harmonies of the oven shelf. Prepare to be amazed!

  • The Spin of a Bouncing Ball

    Tue, 17th Jul 2012

    Bouncy balls may seem fairly normal, but they can do some very surprising things whey they start to spin.

  • The Trebuchet

    Sun, 16th Nov 2008

    Build your very own medieval siege machine out of odds and ends you can find lying around the house

  • Train Tracks - how trains go round corners

    Sat, 22nd Sep 2012

    Trains often have the wheels welded to their axles, so how do they go around corners? Find out with this experiment.

  • Vacuum Powered Bazooka

    Sun, 16th Mar 2008

    Build a vacuum cleaner powered bazooka and launch projectiles across your garden.

  • Vortex Cannon

    Sun, 21st Dec 2008

    If you have ever been too lazy to get up and blow out a candle a few feet away, then we might have the answer.

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