This Tuesday, our year went to Tallaght IT for a science talk as part of Science Week. The talk was called Extraordinary Science (except they spelled it like Xtra-ordinary which made me uncomfortable). The speaker had an English accent and, seriously, you should have heard the gasp that erupted around the room when everyone discovered it.
The first experiment he showed us was an experiment that was done by Galileo off the Leaning Tower of Pisa: Galileo dropped two balls of different masses off the tower to prove that their time of descent was independent from their masses. The speaker demonstrated this with two bottles, one filled with liquid.
Another experiment he did was with a home made spud gun. He got two massive pole things and pumped one full of potato and fired the potato across the room. This was to demonstrate the spring of air. It was very cool, but he fired it at us and, considering the fact that I hate potatoes quite a bit, I wasn't too happy about this. Still very cool, though.
And then he made something explode. I may have shrieked. He didn't just explode something for fun though, it was to show the difference between hydrogen and helium. He told us to guess the gas inside a balloon. It was lighter than air, so we figured it had to be hydrogen or helium. Then he told us that helium is an inert gas, meaning it is non-reactive, and hydrogen is reactive. So, he did something funky to it and it exploded with a very loud bang. Therefore, it must have been hydrogen. Cool stuff, right?
It was a very interesting day, and I learned a lot. After the talk we stopped off in Liffey Valley to get some food, which certainly helped. We returned to school with high spirits and I for one felt a little bit smarter than I did when I had left. I think everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!