Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Tue, 24th Dec 2013

Hydrogen-powered Party Poppers

A Christmas tree (c) Malene Thyssen @ wikipedia

It's Christmas, and we're celebrating in style with a look at the science behind the things that grace the festive period. In a special programme recorded live in the kitchen, we produce our own home-made ice cream, hear about the brain-basis of the Boxing Day sales bargain, test fruit-fuelled flamethrowers, investigate candle chemistry, find out about LED fairy lights, probe the origins of the Star of Bethlehem, and make our own hydrogen-powered party popper. Merry Christmas!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 10:37 - Why do Brussels Sprouts make you fart?

    We explore just what goes on inside our bodies to cause the flatulence resulting from eating Brussels sprouts...

  • 16:21 - Is north really north?

    I'm an applied science student at Open University Australia, and I was wondering why magnetic north is not called south as a positive will repel another positive. When a needle is magnetised, it is repelled from the south and is attracted to the north. Is the world really upside ...

  • 33:00 - Whoosh! Money to burn, or not...

    Whoosh! Money to burn, or not. Why an alcohol-soaked ten Pound note won't actually singe...

  • 35:29 - Fairy lights and LEDs

    Blown fairy lights are a thing of the past since the strings of incandescent bulbs used to bedeck Christmas trees have been replaced by LEDs

  • 40:47 - What happens to TV signals at light-speed?

    Einstein's theory of relativity describes how time seems to go slower at near light speed. But, if I were to be inside a train that goes at the speed of light (impossible, i know) and i had a TV screen to see my other 'twin' that is observing me from outside, would he see me ...

  • 42:07 - Fruit Fireballs

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

  • 46:09 - The Star of Bethlehem

    Colin Humphreys details his theories about what the star of Bethlehem really was and when it could have appeared.

  • 49:59 - Hydrogen Party Popper

    Tired of pathetic party poppers lacking propulsive power? We create a much better bang, using hydrogen...

  • Scheme of an atom (c) Emichan @ Wikipedia

    Do electrons perpetually spin around atoms?

    Hi Chris, always wondered how come an electron seems to "perpetually" spin around a nucleus? What forces are involved and how come friction doesn't play a part etc etc? with thanks john from greensborough, Victoria Australia

  • Are LED lights harmful to health?

    Please advise if you have any info on which type of lighting to use in the house. I recently heard that LED lights have a negative effect on the eyes?



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