Ever see a chemist make liquid iron or demonstrate what happens when you let magnesium burn in dry ice? Ever see them set the entire explosive process to music—all while cheerleaders dance? That's what goes down every Halloween at Northwestern University during a fiery exhibition by senior chemistry lecturer Eberhard Zwergel.
Zwergel—who makes all the experiments himself—first began his explosive demonstrations over a decade ago for his Chemistry 101 and 171 classes. Word spread and now he puts on a spectacular show in the campus' Tech building for a capacity crowd of nearly a thousand students—it's so popular that students pack the hallways.
As you can see in the video above, there's plenty of fire and lots of stuff blowing up. Zwergel acknowledges that some folks say he's only exploding things, but he's actually building students' understanding of how fun chemistry can be and giving them a chance to see "science really happening in real life."
Zwergel clearly goes to great lengths to make his exhibitions spectacular. The atmosphere alone is pretty magical, even though what's happening in the room is pure science. Just imagine how psyched high school students would be to study science if an exhibition like this happened on their campuses, too.