Smoke From Your Fingertips
Do this experiment only with help from a grown-up!
What you'll need:
What do you do?
- Tear off the striking surface from the book of paper matches.
- Put it in an ashtray or other suitable container, cardboard side up.
- Light the cardboard and let it burn completely.
- After it has burned, there should be a reddish residue left behind. Let it cool.
- Wipe your fingertip and thumb on the residue.
- When you now rub your fingertip and thumb together, you should get smoke.
How does it work?
The residue contains red phosphorus, which oxidizes at the low temperature caused by the friction between your thumb and finger. It won't burn you. This is an old magician's trick.
If you do this in the dark, you will see an eerie greenish glow.