A chemistry teacher was demonstrating a reaction between sulfur and zinc. The powdered sulfur and zinc were mixed in a test tube and heated in a fume hood. Usually this produced a minor explosion out of the top of the test tube. However, this time the explosion occurred at the bottom of the test tube and caused the tube to explode. Despite the fact that the experiment was done in a fume hood some of the glass escaped and travelled some distance from the hood. What happened was that the teacher stopped heating halfway through to correct student behaviour and a plug formed at the top of the tube. In addition, this was a demonstration that the teacher had done many times and due to the usually predictable nature of the explosion a safety shield was not used. The teacher and all students were wearing protective eye wear, however. This incident created a lot of concern but fortunately no damage other than to the test tube.
Learning by Accident – Glowing Test Tube Explosion – Zn S Reaction
Categories: General Interest