Robert Bunsen Google Doodle: Do you have a Bunsen Burner Story?

By Alan Ng - Mar 31, 2011

Google has once again changed their homepage with another doodle, only this one celebrates the 200th anniversary of Robert Bunsen, the German Chemist who made the bunsen burner famous. How many of you had fun using one of his tools?

If you head to the Google homepage now, you’ll see that not only has Google changed their logo, but this time it’s an animated doodle, which they don’t seem to do as often any more. This one shows a set of laboratory equipment burning away, including the famous bunsen burner and other flasks and beakers. If you watch the doodle, you’ll see the animation take place and the liquid levels rise, although this will stop after a while and won’t loop itself.

What are your memories of using a bunsen burner back in school/college? Do you remember what you had to burn during your lessons or what you used the bunsen burner for? Just like the Harry Houdini Google doodle, it’s nice that Google remembers such iconic people in history, and although Robert Bunsen may not be the most exciting person in the world, his efforts in chemistry certainly haven’t gone unnoticed.

Do you have a bunsen burner story to share with us? You can read more on the man himself at his Wikipedia page here.

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  • Tony

    Mid 1950`s , we would use a tin can with a hole in the bottom and in the lid, insert tubing from gas tap to bottom of can – turn on gas and light the flame at the lid,turn off gas and dismantle apparatus – place can on cupboard and run out into the playground and watch through the window – flame gets lower and lower then BANG !! lid flies up and hits the ceiling, much laughter – those were the days. But the cane brought tears , kids today have it easy.

    • Alan Ng

      Sounds like you had fun in your chemistry classes Tony! Thanks for sharing.

  • joy

    When I started my Nurse training back in the 70s we used Bunsen burners to test urine for glucose. Often these test were carried out in a very cramped small space, and you would have to do other tests with Ether. One day I was testing a group of Patients urine and I had forgotten to open the small window as we were very busy and very short staffed so I had wedged the door open in case I was urgently needed on the Ward. The wedge came loose door closed I did not notice. The next thing I found my self faint on the floor and another nurse trying to open the door to get me out. I never forgot to open the window after that. __Thank goodness we have Multisticks and Electronic urine testing kits now..

  • Philip

    it's an animated doodle not (its a animated doodle)

  • anonymous

    My sister set herself on fire in a chemistry lesson by getting too close to a bunsen burner, she was OK her lab coat not!

  • Hannah

    On our last day of Alevels we had a little chemistry party- we toasted marshmellows over the burners 🙂
    quickest ever toasting!

  • mark

    ^ i lit the gas tap by accident ^ 🙂

  • Raymond

    Checkout John Otway's Bunsen Burner song!

  • Maurice Greene

    Unscrew the top and light the jet of gas, hey presto a mini north sea oil rig gas flare.

    Of connect the rubber pipe to the cold water tap and spray all your schoolmats.

  • George Clarke

    At school in chemistry lab, teacher is heating a chemical in a test tube over a bunsen burner, water and gas faucets are identical, pupil connects one to the other with rubber tube turns on both. With extra pressure the gas jet climbs about a foot or two followed by all eyes followed by water jet. BANG! Hot test tube explodes, hysterical laughter followed by sore ear. Ah happy days!!!

    Biology lab, heating soil sample in crucible to determine moisture content, interesting to watch crucible and soil turn white hot and translucent. Approaching nemesis, dump soil sample into water, large hissing cloud of steam, interesting mother of pearl/rainbow effect on inside of crucible. Sore ear. Ah happy days!!!!

    • Alan Ng


  • Anonymous

    Moving your mouse sideways around the page will change the flame color, and moving it up and down will raise or lower the flame. Very cute!