Ri Lates: Gunpowder, treason and plot

Drop in between 6.30pm and 10.30pm, Friday 6 November

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Gunpowder workshop

    Credit: Katherine Leedale
  • Type

    Adults-only Lates
  • Speakers


Standard £12

Concession £8

Associate members £6

Free to Members, Faraday Student Members and Fellows

Event description

How do fireworks work and how do we make gunpowder? What's the science of betrayal? And are we the only animals to plot against each other? Get in from the cold and rainy November nights and explore the science of Bonfire Night with our sociable evening of activities and talks for adults.

Download the evening's programme to plan your night.

Please note

This event is for over-18s only. If you look younger than 21, you may be asked for ID at the door.


Plotting ahead: 7.15-8.45pm
The future is where we will spend the rest of our lives. Are we the only animals on this planet that are capable of thinking about the future and planning for it? Join Nicola Clayton to find out.

A story of gunpowder: 8.15-8.45pm
Join Simon Foster for a rundown of gunpowder science, from its first invention to why people raided churches for potassium nitrate. Expect a demo-filled talk with gunpowder explosions recreated in our theatre.

Rocket Science: the Bang and Beyond: 9.15-9.45pm
From conventional ideas and oxidation through the Orion Project and onto the Dawn Probe, chemist Matt Allinson will explain rocket science through a series of visual demos.


There will be a whole host of activities throughout the building on the night but here is a taster to get you going:

Flaming experiments
Change the colour of flames, create a flame tornado, explode guncotton using a cannonball and try setting off an explosion in your hand. All to understand the the science of fireworks and gunpowder.

Bomberman with WiFi Wars
Play bomberman with teams in a videogaming phenomenon led by the comedy duo that make up WiFi Wars. Bring a charged smartphone!

Bangs and beginnings
Join Ben Still for a exploration of the biggest bang of all, and the beginnings of the Universe.

Animal plotting
Do other animals plot ahead? Is there deliberate betrayal? And how can we know? Join the RVC to discover more. And join a team from University College London to take part in an experiment to see how humans behave.

Treasure Hunt
Keep your eyes peeled to take part in Thinking Bob's treasure hunt, learning about the Ri's treasures and its links to gunpowder.

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