Fiery foldscoping!

I was curious about how chemical reactions would look like, microscopically. Particularly, combustion. However, observing one on foldscope wasn’t easy as putting the flap on would immediately extinguish any burning object. That could be solved easily by not putting the flap (it was obvious). However recording a burning object and even taking care to record it before it extinguishes was a task. Also, a prolonged burning object would actually end up melting the plastic which held the lens and making the lens come out.
However, after several attempts… I began scavenging a pile of garbage of leaves and flowers I had collected before for a botany assignment. Out of that, the decomposing peduncle of Caesalpinia inflorescence satisfied the conditions. It burnt for around 5-10 seconds, not enough time to melt the plastic but enough to record the combustion.

What I did was placed the phone with video recording turned on, flipped it over. Attached the foldscope to phone. Placed two coverslips on the lens (essential to prevent melting of plastic in which the lens is placed). After setting the peduncle on fire, I immediately placed it on the coverslip right above the lens. And this is the result!

Ronak Hati, 
UG student, Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College.

Keep foldscoping!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    @Ronak – another “first” from you. Combustion under a foldscope. You never stop to amaze me. Absolutely beautiful. This opens so much explorations – now we can imagine looking at reaction kinetics while blazing at microscopic scale.. I can see ways of creating “micro” combustion events and some triggers – to make sure you capture them on film.

    Please take necessary precautions while playing with fire – my friend.
    keep exploring.


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