This past September, Carleton’s chemistry department hosted a chemical magic show to help celebrate the Faculty of Science’s 50th anniversary. Flashy demonstrations of nitrocellulose, thermite, acetylene combustion and the emission colours of metal ions awed the crowd of 250. Professors Bob Burk and Jeff Manthorpe, featured here with a flask of methylene blue dye, explained the fluorescence of tonic water, why a pickle emits an orange glow when you run electricity­ through it and why carbon dioxide gas douses fire.

The department runs two magic shows a year with annual attendance averaging 1,300 people.