How To Make Fireworks At Home (No Really)
Fireworks canceled for Fourth of July? No problem.
You can do it yourself, and even better -- have all the sparks and none of the noise.
It's called a "Fire Wire" and it's pretty easy to do, super showy, and doesn't make noise -- making it a dog/baby/people who hate loud noises-friendly way to celebrate the holiday.
All you need is some steel wool, copper wire, a lighter and safety gloves.
Strip one end of the copper wire to make a loop to make a slip knot -- you'll feed the steel wool through the looped end of the wire.
The loop will tighten around the steel wool as it burns, preventing chunks of it flying off as you spin the wire.
Now make sure you're in an open space with no people nearby, light the steel wool, and spin! You can see the amazing effect in the videos below.
Now here's the science lesson part of this. Why does it work?
"A fire wire makes use of the rapid oxidation of iron and carbon that is possible within the fine strands of steel wool. When initiated with the energy of a lighter ...the steel begins to react with the oxygen in the air to form Fe2O3 and Fe3O4, commonly known as rust. The steel will then continue to oxidize until it has all been changed to rust, or has collapsed into a mass that no longer allows enough air in for a reaction."
When you spin the flaming steel wool from a wire, you're rapidly accelerating how much oxygen is reacting with the metal and heat, and boom!
Well, not audibly, at least.