National Bunsen Burner Day

National Bunsen Burner Day is a holiday that celebrates one of the most recognizable symbols of science and invention: the Bunsen burner. This burner was invented over 166 years ago but is still an important piece of laboratory equipment that can be found in countless chemistry classrooms and professional laboratories around the world. That’s why we recommend that anyone who works in the scientific field or anyone interested in science take the time to celebrate this holiday on March 31st every year.

The History of the Bunsen Burner

The Bunsen burner was invented by Doctor Robert Bunsen in 1855. Dr. Bunsen was a German chemist who was teaching at the University of Heidelberg. In the year prior to his inventing the burner, a new laboratory was designed with coal-gas lines running to it. The coal gas was not only going to be used for lighting the facility but also for specialized burners that could be used for experiments. The only problem was that no such burners existed.

Dr. Bunsen worked with Peter Desaga, the mechanic for the university, to create the new burner design. They worked out a design, and by the time the laboratory was built and ready for use, they had 50 burners ready to go. The Bunsen burner soon became an important tool for modern chemistry because it produces a clean flame, can use various types of fuel, and allows for precise control over the amount of air that mixes with the fuel. This makes it important for heating chemicals, starting combustion, sterilizing work tools, or initiating chemical reactions.

As clear as the history of the Bunsen burner is, however, we don’t have all the information we need to find out who created National Bunsen Burner Day. It seems like the creator of this holiday has been lost to history. All we can do is express our appreciation to whoever invented it.

Some Quick Facts About Robert Bunsen

Since we’re talking about the Bunsen burner and National Bunsen Burner Day, we thought we’d take a few moments to talk about the man responsible for all of this, Dr. Robert Bunsen. Below are some facts that people might want to know about this doctor as they observe this holiday.

  • Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was born on March 30, 1811, and died on August 16, 1899.
  • Dr. Bunsen is known for spectroscopy, pneumatolysis, and the discovery of cacodyl.
  • Dr. Bunsen won the Copley Medal in 1860, the Davy Medal in 1877, and the Albert Medal in 1898.

Observing National Bunsen Burner Day

National Bunsen Burner Day can be observed by everyone taking a few moments out of their day to learn not only more about the Bunsen burner but also about the man who invented it. Dr. Robert Bunsen not only created this burner but also co-discovered rubidium (Rb) and cesium (Cs) as well. He also showed that each element had its own pattern of light when heated—something that he referred to as an “emission spectrum.”

While you’re celebrating the history of the man and the burner, it’s also a good idea to spread the word about National Bunsen Burner Day. You can do that by using the hashtag #NationalBunsenBurnerDay on your social media accounts for the day.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 31 Sunday
Next year (2025)
March 31 Monday
Last year (2023)
March 31 Friday
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