Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: David Ballantine, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
(815) 753-6857

March 15, 2007

Night of chemistry demonstrations
will include some ‘special effects’

DeKalb, Ill. —The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Illinois University invites the public to an evening of chemistry demonstrations beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in Faraday Hall 143.

The theme for the night is “The Chemistry of Special Effects.”

“We will be presenting demonstrations that use chemistry often used to produce special effects,” said David Ballantine, associate professor in the NIU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Some examples include spontaneous combustion, an acetylene cannon and the chemistry of fireworks.”

Some of the experiments planned for the evening could involve loud noises and produce some smoke or unpleasant smells and might not be appropriate for small children.

To ensure the safety of the audience and the presenters, flash photography is not permitted. At least for some experiments, members of the audience may be asked to leave their seats and move away from the demonstration area, again for safety reasons.

Those planning to attend the demonstration session can park in the university parking structure, located just across Normal Road from Faraday Hall West. The structure is open to general parking at any time after 7 p.m., except for reserved and handicapped spaces.