In this video I am going to show you a rather
cool experiment, known as the test-tube thunderstorm. You will see why it is called that in a minute.
To set it up, first some concentrated sulphuric acid is added to a test tube, about a ml or
two is sufficient depending on the size of the test tube. However, it does need to be
quite concentrated, 90%+ for it to work well. On top of this layer of acid, you want to
very carefully put a layer of ethanol (usually) but you could use any alcohol or another flammable
liquid. You need to make it such that the ethanol does not mix with the sulphuric acid,
so the easiest way is to tilt the test tube, and then run the ethanol down the side of
the tube so that it sits on top of the acid. Since the densities of the two are very very
different, sulphuric acid: 1.74 g/ml, ethanol 0.789 g/ml. Once everything has been set up,
all you need to is turn the lights out, add some potassium permanganate (half to a full
spatula-full), and sit back and watch the show!