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CLIP 13429

Can you make a star on Earth?

Can you make a star on Earth?

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Key Info
  • Can you make a star on Earth?
  • Duration: 4:26
  • Presenter Greg Foot demonstrates that a star is just like a continuous chemical reaction where hydrogen is converted into helium and produces all the elements that exist on Earth. Greg begins by performing the thermite reaction between iron oxide and aluminium powder, in order to demonstrate that some chemical reactions can release large amounts of heat and light energy. He explains that stars do not consist of iron oxide and aluminium but instead consists of a plasma that transfers huge amounts of light and heat energy. Greg then demonstrates how to make a plasma using a candle and a microwave oven. The microwave energy strips electrons from the hot gas from the candle flame, creating an ionised gas called a plasma. Just like a tiny star, the plasma emits both light and heat energy. First broadcast on BBC Learning Zone and BBC3 in March 2012 as part of the series The Secrets of Everything.
  • Subject:



    Phys: Solar System

  • Keywords: Stars, elements, chemical reaction, thermite reaction, iron oxide, aluminium, light, energy, reactants, hydrogen, plasma, lightning, Northern lights, microwave, electrons, molecules, ions, charged particles, TheSecretsofEverything
Ideas for use in class
  • Used as part of studying the electrochemical series and how different compound react with one another. Can also be used when studying the states of matter i.e. solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Can also be used for studying atomic structure and what happens to an atom when electrons are removed. Students can also research what is happening in our Sun and how coronal mass ejections and the solar wind produce effects such as the aurora borealis in the Earth’s polar regions. Cross curricular links – Geography and Astronomy Contains examples of ‘How Science Works’.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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