April 28, 2010 by Zoe
All it took was four hours for Steve to create a Reuben’s Tube, which allows you to reveal the shapes of sound waves using an array of flames.
As Guerilla Science is intended to introduce non-scientists to science, this was something of the same nature, a kind of guerilla carpentry: somebody without any practical training teaching himself the DIY skills he ought to have been taught in school.
Andy (who leant us the tools and workspace): “Do you know what to do with the router then?”
Steve: “Well I’ve done some research, but I’ve never used one before.”
Zoe: “What’s with the chopping board?”
Steve: “Well I needed some wood for the bits at either end.”
Zoe (who’s father is a carpenter): “Um. Huh. I’ve never seen anyone in my life do such a thing.”
Steve (looking around the workshop, filled with scrap wood): “It made sense at the time.”
I enjoyed that moment in particular.
Nonetheless, he did it in just a few hours – drilling an even line of pin prick holes along the length of the cylinder, affixing a metal tube to the side for the gas to enter, routing holes in the wooden bits to fit the cylinder, drilling a narrow hole through one of the end bits, and sealing it all together. It went off without a hitch.
Check out this Cheshire cat grin as he watches his handiwork in action – that’s a proud man that is.