Spoon!

Fine gold wire around a crytal formed from a single element. (element 83) Kean explains how Bismuth forms its escheresque shape in his book.

This summer I read a great book by Sam Kean called The Disappearing Spoon.

It was essentially an introduction to/history of the periodic table, with digressions for fun facts and quirky personalities along the way. I’ve already reread it once. His writing is very good and his explanations clear. The title of the book comes from a trick he describes, where students mold gallium, which is a silver metal with an extremely low melting point, into the shape of a spoon and bring it with tea. The unsuspecting victim goes ot stir the tea, and the spoon melts. I kept meaning to look that trick up and forgetting about it. Then I ran across this video, which warmed my little geek heart.

And since we’re playing with the periodic table:

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Filed under Historical Facts and Trivia, Natural Science

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