A lightning strike and spectacular fireball were created when a respected chemistry academic gave a fascinating talk at The Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
An audience of hundreds of girls and guests watched Dr Peter Wothers perform a succession of eye-catching experiments in the picturesque surroundings of the Princess Hall on Saturday.
The talk, entitled Taming the Elements, was hosted jointly with the Royal Society of Chemistry and formed part of the hugely successful Principal’s Lecture Series.
College Head of Chemistry Dr David Gamblin said: “The lecture was a huge success.
“Dr Wothers expertly led the audience through a voyage of discovery and effortlessly incorporated jaw-dropping demonstrations which highlighted a variety of key chemical principles.
“The College is particularly grateful to Peter’s Team and The Royal Society of Chemistry for supporting the lecture, the lecture has certainly let a lasting impression on the minds of everyone who attended.”
Dr Wothers, who has previously spoken at the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, also used tungsten blocks to weigh a pupil on a giant set of scales, as well as sending an explosion round the room in a transparent pipe.
Sixth Form Chemistry pupil Fran Neale said: “The lecture was a real triumph as it both enlightened and enthralled the whole audience.
“Dr Wothers’s charisma and enthusiasm ensured that everybody took something away from the morning.”
Fellow pupil Edwina Donlan said: “Never before have I felt so nervous to be sat front row in the Princess Hall, but this can only be a credit to Dr Wothers for his fiery and thrilling lecture, which truly had me on the edge of my seat.”
Another sixth former, Mimi Prickett, said: "I don't think anyone will ever forget the excitement of lightning striking in the Princess Hall."
Max Wilkinson, Communications Officer