Montana Scientists Use Explosive Chemistry To Create Pumpkins
When it comes to science, who doesn't like to blow things up? Just think about that science kit you had as a kid. What was the first thing you gravitated towards in the kit? Was it learning about the Ph levels in water? NO! You went straight to the chemical reaction portion of the kit and started to laugh like a mad scientist. You immediately grabbed all the baking soda and vinegar your Mom had in the house, and you were going to build a volcano using those two simple ingredients. You somehow managed to create a chemical reaction that sent foamy vinegar flying all over your room. It was fun while it lasted, and you learned to live with the smell of vinegar for a while. But, don't deny that we all did it.
Now imagine using a similar chemical reaction to blow holes into your pumpkin. That's right! Build your Halloween jack-o-lantern by meticulously blowing holes in it. Obviously, this is a big step from the volcano, but, a group of Montana Tech students recently visited a grade school in Butte to show the kids exactly how it can be done.
The Montana Tech students recently explained how it was done to John Emeigh of KXLF in Butte. Much like the volcano experiment from our childhood, you combine two chemicals to create a gas. Except this gas doesn't cause a messy foam. This gas is explosive. The students would simply precut a pumpkin as a suggestion to where the eyes and mouth should be. They would then add a small amount of calcium carbide to the inside of the pumpkin. The calcium carbide would mix with water and create a flammable gas. Simply ignite the gas with a lighter and POOF you got yourself a jack-o-lantern.
Now, obviously, we don't want to encourage you to play with explosives. But, blowing stuff up sure is a fun way to spend an afternoon.