The Spangler Effect - Burning Money Season 01 Episode 11

Uploaded by TheSpanglerEffect on 11.04.2012

So why is it that you guys are so infatuated with fire.
It seems like every time we do an experiment, your comment
is, more fire, we need more-- well, truth be told, I'm
infatuated with fire as well.
And this is the kind of episode where most shows would
say, don't try anything at home.
And that's kind of the problem.
This is what we want you to be able to try.
So, a couple things said.
You're going to be using flammable materials.
There's a couple things that you need.
First of all, safety glasses.
And secondly, you need a fire extinguisher.
You don't have those two, you can't do this at home.
And third, if you're a kid, you got to have adult
If you're an adult who is careless, you need to have a
better adult to give you better adult supervision.
Make sense?
I think you're going like this.
So here are the things we need.
So we need some isopropyl alcohol--
this is just rubbing alcohol, 70%--
something to mix it in, water-- just in case we get
into trouble--
some tongs, and of course, the lighter.
So here's what happens, let's start
with the rubbing alcohol.
And now, we need something that will catch on fire.
Ah, this is perfect.
Lunch money.
I don't know even a lunch that you could buy using a dollar,
but a long time ago, this, I guess, was your lunch money.
All right, so this goes down--
and you always borrow this.
This is where we say, don't try this at home, try it at a
friend's home, right?
Well you always use a friend's bill as well.
So you say, can I please borrow some money, and they,
of course, will only give you a dollar.
It's a hundred times better if you could get a hundred dollar
bill, but good luck.
So this dips down inside.
This is our flammable material, here.
You ready?
Watch this.
This is off to the side like this.
And now let's light it and see what happens.
Oh, that's a nice flame, looks good.
It's out.
Well, there was a little bit of trickery.
Although we used all the materials that you see on the
table, if you had done it exactly the way I just showed
you, there would have been a problem.
And I'll show you what that looks like.
We actually used a real dollar bill, but this solution here
isn't actually just 70% rubbing alcohol.
Let me show you what would happen if you would have used
real rubbing alcohol in its full strength.

Now we pull it out of the way so that nothing
else catches on fire.
Watch what happens with pure rubbing alcohol.
It burns and it burns.
And then, it continues to burn, and it burns, and you'll
notice that it continues to burn.
And well, this is a problem, because now you've destroyed
money, and you might think that there's going to be
another problem on top of that.
Come to find out, the way the law reads, you can destroy
money and not go to jail.
You just can't destroy money and try to pass it.
That's counterfeit, right.
And I think you can see there's just no possible way
that I think you can probably pass that.
You know as a kid, you would take a penny and you'd go to
the circus or that place, and you'd put it in that machine
and crank it, and it would flatten the penny and put a
logo on there or you just got a name or your birthday, or
whatever it is.
That is kind of the same thing that we're doing here.
It's destroying the penny, but by law, that's OK to do
because you'd never take that penny and then
try to pass it again.
Same thing here.
We're not trying to pass it.
The whole goal is that you're not lighting the
bill on fire at all.
I just wanted you to see what would happen if you really had
done it the way I told you.
Here's the secret.
First of all, 70% rubbing alcohol-- isopropyl alcohol--
means that there's seven parts of the isopropyl alcohol to
three parts water, right.
So there's already water in this mixture.
And at the very beginning, I said, this is everything that
you'll need.
The secret was sitting in front of you the entire time
and it was actually right here.
It's the water that's in this pitcher.
What we want is we want to add more water to the isopropyl
alcohol so that what happens is that we
burn off that fuel--
but by the time the fuel burns off, the evaporating water
that has coated the dollar bill as
well begins to evaporate.
And as it begins to evaporate, it cools the bill down.
So here's the mixture that you're going to need.
This all varies, so you're going to have to experiment a
little bit.
And I think you can do the dollar to experiment.
Here's 70% rubbing alcohol, and we're going to add--
I'm going to put about 300 milliliters.
I'm going to add about 200 milliliters, which again, is
going to be about 3/4 of a cup if you're doing it that way,
of water, and there's your mixture.
It looks just like rubbing alcohol, and that entire
mixture got put back into the bottle.
So I hadn't dumped that last little part out and put it
back into bottle so that you didn't know that I had done
anything to it.
There is a little secret.
If you use this mixture right here, it's going to burn
awfully blue, so you need some salt.
And if you put some salt inside, the sodium from the
salt will help kind of color it yellow.
The salt dissolves with no problem at all.
And now just kind of stir it up.

All right.
Now our special watered-down mixture goes
back into the container.
That's perfect.
And now we're ready to go.
This is the set up.
This looks awfully science-y, so you could
substitute a bowl.
That'll be perfect.
You need a friend's dollar bill.
Got a dollar bill, that's perfect, and now
you're ready to go.
All right.
So now we put the mixture out.
Again, we're telling them that, look, it's
just rubbing alcohol.
But you know that it's a mixture of
rubbing alcohol and water.
And now, here's the cool thing.
When you take this, the secret is you've got to completely
soak the dollar bill.
If you don't soak the dollar bill, then it's easy for it to
catch on fire.
So just make sure it's completely soaked.
Move this container off to the side, and now we're simply
going to light this on fire.
What's going to burn, instead of the dollar
bill, is the fuel.
Look at that nice yellow kind of look there.
it's perfectly fine.
Now if you're trying this and you see that it starts to
burn, just shake it for a second and it will come out,
and you may have to tweak the formula just
a little tiny bit.
But your dollar bill is back.
You can't tell this, but right now, it's cool to the touch.
So anybody who touches it will be amazed that it feels cold.
It was just on fire, but it's cold.
And of course, that adds to the secret and kind of gives
away that part of it, that it's the evaporating water
that kind of keeps this safe.
All right, so this is the true test of your solution, if it
really is going to work.
This makes you a little bit nervous.
All right, so there's the hundred dollar bill.
This goes down inside like this.
I'm going to make sure that every little piece of this is
completely soaked.
If you paid your dues in the local science club, you've
done well--
I'll move this out of the way--
hopefully everything will be just fine.
There it burns.
It's looking good, it's looking good, and--
It's there.
Look at this.
There is my good hundred dollar bill.
I know what you're thinking.
Let's say you're watching us from another country, and
you're thinking well, does it work with my money.
We have this huge following in the UK, so you just use your
UK, your pounds.
Do you have any pounds?
This is a pound, got it.
Let's see if it works.
This goes down into the water like this.
I've never tried this before, so this will be interesting.

OK, ready?
This is really thin and flimsy.
Your money is going to be much better than this.
Let's just see if this is OK.
That's looking pretty good.
that's truly amazing.
Look at that.
With just notebook paper, it's still perfectly fine.
That's pretty cool.
All right, so you want to try this and you want to use
paper, right?
And you might say, I'm not using my money--
although that is the best way to do it.
You can do it the original way that I learned how to do it
using a man's handkerchief.
I know you don't use these today, but just head to the
local department store, you can find a piece of cloth or a
man's handkerchief.
We just need to have ceilings that are higher than what you
see here, otherwise it's going to be a much more exciting
science experiment than I'd ever want.
Let's go to bigger and higher ceilings.
Taller ceilings, safety glasses, we're going to use
the man's handkerchief, and we need a fire extinguisher, so
make sure that you have a fire--
Bo, you got a fire extinguisher?
OK, here's your job.
Stand close by.
You hang on to this.
If anything bad happens and I start to catch on
fire, take me off.
Pull the pin and go for it, OK.
Don't get overactive, I'm not catching on fire, just stay
there, all right.
See this, so excited to maybe get to pull the fire
OK, here we go.
Are we ready.
So here is the cloth.
Now this one here, you really got to work on kind of getting
it nice and wet.
OK, nice and wet.
And now you're going to take this out, and we're going to
wring it out.

The other thing I can tell you is that you want to make sure
that your hands now are not wet.
So now, dry your hands off.
OK, perfect.
Now my hands are completely dry.
All right, move this out of the way.
It's time for fire.
Hopefully, the water will keep it nice and safe.
Here we go.
Oh, this is looking good.
So here it is.
Now this is a pretty good flame, you definitely don't
want to do this in your house.
This is outside.
Here's the flame.
Look at that, isn't that awesome.
To the touch, it's fine.
It's not singed.
Take your bow.
The secret is water.
It keeps the material from catching on fire.
And whether you're doing it with a dollar bill or you're
doing it with a handkerchief, the secret is trapping water
close to the surface, because the evaporation of that water
produces this cooling effect.
Water is this great conductor of heat.
And we're not just messing around with this.
This is actually being used as a fire-fighting technique.
They're finding ways to be able to take water, make it
sticky, so to speak, and to put it on a structure like a
building and try to keep it from burning.
And believe it or not, you might have played
with it as a toy.
The toy is called Gravi-Goo.
It's actually a powder that you can see inside.
It's really a very, very high molecular weight polymer,
polymer just being a long chain of molecules.
Look, we haven't used much there at all, you can see that
little bit sitting in the bottom.
Let me add the water.
And now you just keep on pouring it back and forth.
The super-absorbent polymer will literally pull itself out
of the beaker like a self-siphoning gel.
So here's the batch that I made previously.
This is probably four or five of these batches.
And now, I'm going to get my hands inside so we can kind of
play with it, and you can see what it looks like.

It's extremely sticky, and it's almost
completely made of water.
Here's the test, nothing terribly scientific, but
here's our board.
And let's take some of this polymer in the water and put
it on the board like this.
Now we just test it with the fire.
Watch the side of the board without the polymer.

It doesn't take long at all for that to start on fire.
Watch this over here.

See, it's the heat-absorbing properties of the water that
are keeping the board safe.
Now eventually, it'll catch on fire because it will burn all
the way through.
But it definitely is better than no water at all to be
able to help mitigate any of the damage.
Am I saying that this toy right here is going to save a
burning structure?
No, but I think the science of it is very, very solid.
If you can get water close to the structure and allow the
heat from the fire to be able to cause the water to
evaporate, it only makes sense that you're going to buy time
for firefighters as they try to save the property.
Who would have thought that the science of toys could help
possibly save a burning structure.
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