Making Diamonds in the Microwave

By Anupum Pant

If you have the right equipment, making a diamond is a straightforward but an extremely time consuming process. Here’s how it works…

A microwave chamber is filled with a gas like methane – which has one carbon and four hydrogen atoms. Now, since diamonds are crystalline forms of carbon, the gas is then turned into a hot ball of plasma, breaking down the methane atom into carbon and hydrogen. The carbon atoms go and sit on top of a diamond seed, one atom at a time. If you let this happen for several weeks, you have your diamond ready to go.  Video

Or, you could do something like this person does. It’s quite close to the real diamond, however if tests are carried upon it, the difference can be told from the natural diamonds that are formed several hundred feet below the earth’s surface…

Nitrocellulose or Guncotton

By Anupum Pant

Nitrocellulose is an interesting material, an explosive of sorts, which burns very fast with little heat and leaves a very little residue. That’s the reason magicians use it in the flash paper. It can be made at home. Cody shows how…

For this, you’ll need a cotton tighty-whitey underwear…
And of course a few chemicals like potassium nitrate and sulphuric acid.

Money Does not Smell, You Do

By Anupum Pant

Do you notice that smell off your hands after you have handled pennies, or touched an iron railing, or anything metallic for that matter? There’s a hint of metallic smell left on your hands, right?

Well, that’s not the metal you are smelling. The smell comes from the compounds on your hand that change when iron or copper touches them. So if someone hands you a few coins and you smell the metallic odor, you actually are smelling something that has passed off from their bodies. And it smells like metal because you’ve always associated that smell with metal.

[Nature]