Magical Mercury (II) thiocyanate 

Mercury (II) thiocyanate is a white powder that creates a twisting solid (or serpent) when ignited. It is an inorganic compound so has been created with complex mercury ions that bond with the thiocyanate ions (sulphur, carbon and nitrogen). Carbon and nitrogen bond together to make cyanide, and any Mercury compound is toxic, so it’s…

Rollercoaster fun with physics 

For Christmas I received a Quercetti marble run. It’s no ordinary marble run. Instead it bills itself as an educational toy for exploring physics as different sizes and weights of marbles roll at different velocities round the track. You can even set up a loop the loop – but that seemed a bit adventurous for…

Liquid nitrogen and ping pong

So, I haven’t posted for a very long time and that’s a shame, but here is something to make a bang! If you pour liquid nitrogen into a plastic bottle it will start to turn into a gas because it heats up in room temperature. This looks pretty cool as it is – like a…

Leopard slugs have it going on!

I saw this on a BBC documentary recently and had to share it! Leopard slugs are hermaphrodites so they can reproduce on their own, but when they find another slug who fancies some ‘fun time’ it all gets far more interesting. Their penis comes out from a hole behind their head and then … Well…