The Chemistry of Fire and Gunpowder – with Andrew Szydlo

Andrew Szydlo gives a spectacular demo-filled talk of explosive science using gunpowder, energetic reactions and quite a few flames.
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The talk was filmed on the eve of Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night.

Andrew Szydlo is a chemist and secondary school teacher at Highgate School, well-loved by pupils and Ri attendees alike.

He has given public lectures around the UK, been featured on TV shows and has become a popular part of the Royal Institution’s YouTube Channel in recent years.

This talk was filmed in the Royal Institution on 4 November 2017.

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  1. I`m now hooked on All of Mr. Szydlos lectures from the Royal Institution,the man`s Unique delivery keeps you engrossed in something as "mundane!" as Fire!!! 100%

  2. Learning the chemical change that wood takes in order to catch fire is amazing. This means that wood itself technically doesn’t burn but rather the flame brings out the charcoal and the CHARCOAL catches….. mind blown…

  3. Oh God, this Old man is exasperating to listen to. (as are all brits)
    But the biggest thing is the CHILDISH Science Fair demonstrations for 5th Graders and all these Grown ups Glorifying him as he seeks the Spotlight…………
    LOL when I was 9yo I was building Rockets, making chem batteries, Pyrotechnics, Since I had access to stuff like KCLO3, white phosphorus, aluminum powder, etc. Gum Arabic, etc. Carbon, sulfur, etc.
    I got from my Family's business. (but my Fam did not tech me anything. they did not even know I was doing these things)
    All this childish presentation was BORING….So, I'm gone!………
    I rather go SURFING!!!
    Greetings from Sunny California……….

  4. I love this gentleman. From the way he speaks on so many things at once, but always brings it all together. I enjoyed the unexpected musical part . A genius, performance.

  5. His emotional remembering at the end of the lecture.. that was intense.
    A great professor, a greater man. That sense of passion is the kind of things that pushes us into the future.

  6. This is the kind of passion I wanna see in people who lift. No, not just the energy. The deep understanding and ability to explain it in a way that gives a grown man a childlike fascination with the subject.

  7. The part where he uses the grinder. With his assistant kneeling to catch the dust. Is so incredibly unsafe. That disk has a very high risk of flying apart if side loaded. If that occurred while his face is that close. All the fun and curiosity, will quickly be replace with terror and traumatization for all the kids.

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