Another Reason Science Is Awesome

I have just picked up The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, and so far, it is pretty good. It's much more of a chronological history of the periodic table, rather than the short story style exposition of 'true tales' I was expecting, and not as chock-full of delightful tidbits as I thought, but still all right. Reading it today, I realized that most of what Kean is discussing would probably be more impactful visually than as just words on a page. Turns out I was right. There are many interesting facts contained in the book that would make a good visual, but I figure, let's go with the namesake and see what a disappearing spoon actually looks like -

And that is a spoon melting ladies and gentleman! Turns out this is possible because of the element gallium. Gallium is solid at a moderate room temperature, but melts at 84 degrees Farenheit. As Kean says: "it's one of the few liquid metals you can touch without boiling your finger to the bone." Pretty cool, huh?

I think I want to watch superfluid helium defy gravity by flowing uphill and over walls next.....

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