Date: Tue Mar 17 09:40:20 2009 Back to Contents ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author: Sam Sampere

Subject: Re: Ruben's tube and propane


The 'late Ziggy Peacock'? When did that happen and why didn't anyone tell me?? And how did he send that e-mail. Eerie.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Urs Lauterburg
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 5:12 AM
Subject: Re: [tap-l] Ruben's tube and propane

Cliff et al.,

I am a bit late with the report of my experience, nevertheless:

Years ago I built our wonderful Ruben's tube
following the competent directions of the grand
master of physical ceremonies, the late Zigmund
Peacock. At first I was very scared when firing
up that long, fat tube full of propane gas. It
was due to much feedback on tap-l that I calmed
down and wnet ahead to fire it up for the very
first time. All was good and it worked amazingly
well ever since. In fact I got very much used to
it by now and have in fact shown the Ruben's tube
la Ziggy seven times last Saturday along with
some other highlight demonstrations as a part of
public performance in our big and very crowded
auditorium. For this I actually made a LabVIEW
program that plays a little song I composed by
using several of the necessary frequencies and
amplitudes which are defined by our tube. The
Ruben's tube usually triggered a special applause
when playing the song.

It's the way I like to go about; control my real
world demonstrations with self made software that
does exactly what I want and how I want it.

In your case of course the normal precautions
should be taken but you should not worry too much.

Regards and best wishes from over here


Urs Lauterburg
Physics demonstrator
Physikalisches Institut
University of Bern

>>> wrote:
>>>>One of our faculty wants to use my Ruben's tube as part of a road
>>>>show to a high school. The school does not have a natural gas
>>>>source for him so he wants to rent a propane tank to fuel the
>>>>tube. I am concerned about: how well this will work, as I seem to
>>>>remember that propane requires different sized orifices for flame
>>>>jets than natural gas, safety (a tank of gas under pressure near
>>>>an open flame in front of a large audience) and finally, in our
>>>>lecture hall use, I find I have to turn off our air handlers to
>>>>reduce air currents in the room so the flames are stable.
>>>>So I was wondering if any of you had experience using the Ruben's
>>>>tube on the road in such circumstances and had any advice for me
>>>>to pass along.

From Tue Mar 17 09:40:20 2009