I can’t recall the fellow’s name. He was a chemistry professor at one of the colleges I attended, a college attended by many aspiring aerospace engineers. He opened the first session of the course with a demonstration.
Without saying a word, he entered the room with a shopping cart full of ‘stuff’ and began tinkering. After about 6 or 8 minutes of this, the students were getting restless and the room got louder. Then silence washed over everyone with the force of a summer thunderstorm (the high plains kind).
After arranging things in, on, and over the shopping cart, the professor was adding one more unexpected item to the pile… himself. As he climbed into the cart, everyone looked on with like a bunch of disaster spectators about to witness a car crash of immense proportions. No one moved. No one made a sound.
Then it happened. All hell broke lose. As the professor did something to the stuff in the cart it errupted into a roar. Smoke filled the air and the cart began to move. In an instant the shopping cart full of stuff, and the professor too, had shot accross the room and crashed into the opposing wall.
Well, the wall won.
But the professor got up, faced the room, and declared, “Propulsion, just one of the reasons you rocket scientists need to learn chemistry.”