The Christmas Lecture tradition continues

An evening of wild chemistry experiments

Every year, a group of our maddest scientists comes together to give the ‘Christmas Lecture’, a mixture of chemistry, physics, fun and humour to ring out the year and welcome the holiday break. Led by Professor Neil Shirtcliffe, our A-Team of researchers dedicated themselves this year to answering a simple question: is it possible to make a mushroom cloud in an auditorium?


The explosive and informative experiments of this year’s Christmas Lecture made the now traditional programme into a huge success. Over the course of 90 minutes, audience members laughed, cried and gasped with our reseachers as they attempted to make a mushroom cloud within the confines of our campus Audimax auditorium.

As always, the evening of experiments was accompanied by the wit and humour we’ve come to expect from the Christmas Lecture team. As a result, the audience was treated to exciting pyrotechnics, but also came away from the lecture having learned a thing or two: how to make a ‘Harrisburger’, what an ‘Alien Brain Hemorrhage’ is, and why it’s a good idea to cover your ears when Professor Shirtcliffe says that an experiment won’t be very loud. In the end, the skills of our research team prevailed and the audience was indeed treated to a mushroom cloud (non-radioactive, of course) in a spectactular show of fluid dynamics.

The Christmas Lecture is held every year shortly before the holiday break at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences and is free for all to attend. We’re already looking forward to the next one!