I’ve developed a “Rocket Science Lab” for FSU Students. Here is a video of a water rocket launch done for this lab.

This lab also features ignition of a combustible vapor in a light-weight plastic bottle which is consequently propelled as a rocket by the release of combustion products during deflagration. I use electrical spark for the ignition, allowing the presenter to be at a substantial distance from the site of combustion. This provides a compelling demonstration of rocket propulsion, appropriate for students of physics and perhaps other physical sciences. I call this innovation the “Whoosh Rocket Demonstration”.

I report on this innovation in a manuscript submitted for publication in the January 2017 edition of the Physics Teacher, the Journal of the American Association of Physics Teachers, entitled “Spark Ignition of Combustible Vapor in a Plastic Bottle as a Demonstration of Rocket Propulsion.” Here is a copy: mattox 2017 physics teacher. And here is the FSU rendition of an on-line appendix of  this paper, which includes video.