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Compression Igniter


Light a piece of tissue on fire using pressure. Classes Used: PHYS 153, SCIENCE ONE



Compression igniter, tissue or cotton


1. Place a small piece of tissue/paper towel (brown paper towels bought in stores work) in the glass tube by unscrewing the bottom platform. 2. Before screwing the platform back, ensure the piston/plunger is at the compression line (marked by the company produces), then screw the platform back while holding the plunger at the line. 3. Push down quickly with a significant force. 4. If the demo is to be done more than once, remove the plunger and base platform, and then push a piece of tissue through the glass tube with the wire to clean it between each attempt.

Currently there are three compression igniters available, two newer professional models (one is in using, other one is brand new), and one cheap blue plastic model.

The cheap model is mostly for loan out to events or grad students, the newer model is used for lecture and instructing purpose. Cheap model can be found in Orange Closet.


If the plunger is not pushed fast enough, the tissue will smoke but not ignite.

<iframe title=“YouTube video player” width=“480” height=“390” src=“” frameborder=“0” allowfullscreen=“”></iframe> Updated on: Dec 12, 2013

Demo room information

Location —-
Maker Unknown
Current State Working
demonstrations/4_thermodynamics/4e_gas_law/compression_igniter/start.1550187203.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/02/14 23:33 by