Robert Bunsen was born on this day in 1811, 200 years ago, and Google’s latest doodle celebrates the German scientist.
As all good chemistry students know – indeed, hopefully even bad chemistry students – Bunsen invented the burners we still use in school labs up and down the country today.
At least we assume we do, unless health and safety has banned them these days, and students have to hold up bits of paper with orange flames drawn on them instead to simulate heating. Nothing would surprise us.
The Google doodle is a rather smart animated one, with a series of bubbling compartments connected by tubes, and a Bunsen burner placed underneath on heating duties. The flame on the Bunsen burner changes height and colour, depending on where you move the mouse.
A “Moka” coffee pot appears to have sneaked its way into the experiment, too. Which might be Google’s way of saying it has invented the Caesium Frappucino (that would definitely wake you up of a morning).
Bunsen actually discovered Caesium, an alkali metal which reacts explosively with water. He also discovered Rubidium, and developed a number of other lab instruments, along with a prototype spectroscope.
Bunsen passed away in 1899.