University of Cambridge > > SCI Cambridge Science Talks > FIREWORKS – EXPLOSIVES FOR ENTERTAINMENT !


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If you have a question about this talk, please contact John Wilkins.

Dr Tom Smith will explain the science behind modern fireworks, with a series of vivid demonstrations. He will show how basic principles of chemistry can be harnessed to produce various pyrotechnic effects – sounds (fizzles, cracks and pops), smokes, flashes and colours. Dr Smith grew up with fireworks, and after graduating from Oxford worked for some years as display manager of Kimbolton Fireworks. In 1989 he set up DAVAS UK Ltd, an independent explosives consultancy, specialising in compliance issues for small UK companies, and acting as pyrotechnic consultant for many of the world’s largest events, including the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 Commonweath Games in Melbourne. Tom lectures on pyrotechnic chemistry and is the managing editor of the Journal of Pyrotechnics (see

Warning – There will be bangs and flashes ! (The importance of safety when dealing with fireworks will be strongly emphasised !)

The lecture will be suitable for all ages (9-90). Free admission. N.B. No tickets – so come early to get a good seat. Doors open at 18:30.

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Contact John O’Toole. T: 01223 894174, E:

Co-sponsored by RSC Mid-Anglia Section

This talk is part of the SCI Cambridge Science Talks series.

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