Ping Pong Launcher
With the Ping Pong Launcher, visitors turn a crank to send electricity through water and send ping pong balls flying high into the air. The electric current breaks the water molecules apart into hydrogen and oxygen gases which bubble up and gather below a ping pong ball. After about 30 seconds of producing gas, the visitor can press a button to ignite the hydrogen-oxygen mixture. Bang! Instantly, the hydrogen and oxygen recombine to form water, producing heat and a flash of light as they do. The ping pong ball flies up to the top of the tube while the water falls back into the tank. The entire unit is safe, self-contained, and clearly visible.
Don Harrington Discovery Center, Amarillo, TX
Nuclear Science Museum, Albuquerque, NM