What is the craziest element in the periodic table?
Well, you have your usual culprits:
- Explodes in contact with water, in a much more dramatic fashion than its other alkali-metal brethren.
- A more reactive version of Caesium that’s also radioactive!
- We can only synthesise tiny amounts of it, though
- Evilly reactive gas. Don’t get on the wrong side of fluorine — it will mess you up.
- The fact that it is the basis of all life on Earth is pretty darn crazy.
- Then you’ve got the really cool allotropes like graphite, diamond and graphene
- The densest naturally occurring element
- Glows purple in the dark (SO COOL)
- Also has some interesting magnetic properties
- Did I mention it glows in the dark?
- Badass poison — it even beats arsenic into this list
- Liquid metal at room temperature? Yes please!
For some people “hydrogen” is crazy — but hydrogen is, like, 75% of the observable universe. That’s not crazy. Hydrogen is normal.
However, I’d like to give a shoutout to(element 31).
A non-transition metal in the p-block. Sounds pretty boring, right?
Well, it actually has some really interesting properties when applied to solid state physics, as a dopant in semiconductors, and so on (Gallium Arsenide also holds the distinction of being involved in the most accurate experiment I have ever performed!)
However — I like it because of a prank!
You see, gallium has a really low melting point.
At room temperature, it’s just about solid — but human body temperature is enough to melt it:
And it melts in your hands!
This forms the basis of a famous prank (and)
You can make a spoon with the head made out of gallium — and when you use it to stir your tea — it vanishes!
See — scientists do have a sense of humour!
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