06/11/2013 02:40 pm ET

Charcoal-Liquid Oxygen Reaction Spotlighted In New Slo-Mo VIDEO

What happens when you plunge red-hot charcoal into liquid oxygen? Watch for yourself in this fascinating slow-mo video, which is the latest installment of The University Of Nottingham's series, "The Periodic Table Of Elements."

When the charcoal hits the surface of the liquid oxygen -- boiling at room temperature -- the oxygen vapor kickstarts combustion and the charcoal catches on fire.

The chemists are at a bit of a loss to explain the physics underlying the reaction, but the result is pretty spectacular.

“The key point is that I, as a chemist, see that something that I thought was fairly straightforward is actually more interesting and more complicated than I thought," Dr. Martyn Poliakoff, chemistry professor at the university, says in the video.

Youtube user emanuel2cool1 commented: “Thanks for giving me something awesome to talk about at work tomorrow!”


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