Blowing things up 64

British Language CentreZaktualizowano 
What were your chemistry lessons like at school? If they were anything like mine, from time to time you had the opportunity to handle something quite dangerous.

What were your chemistry lessons like at school? If they were anything like mine, from time to time you had the opportunity to handle something quite dangerous. It might have been a strong acid, such as hydrochloric, or something explosive. It’s the explosives that most people remember.

Lithium gives you a little fizz and if you look closely you can see a small flame as it reacts with the water. Next up is sodium, and this is where students need a protective screen.

Sodium gets quite violent, but it is tame compared to potassium. I was lucky because my chemistry teachers showed us this in the classroom. Most schoolchildren only get to see the fireball of potassium and water on a science video.
But it doesn’t end there. I bet nobody in a secondary school gets to handle rubidium.

Take a piece the size of your little finger and drop it into a bath (using a long stick to do this, or you’ll be in a cemetery in seconds). Now explain to your neighbours in the flat below why there is a hole in their bathroom ceiling.

Then you can use caesium. If rubidium behaves like a grenade, this will work like a depth charge. Your bath will disappear, along with most of the bathroom floor as well. These last two are so reactive that you need to keep them in a special container to stop them oxidising in the air. There is one more you can use, the king of group-one metals, but it is hard to find. It’s called francium, and is radioactive. Not surprisingly, you would need a special licence to buy it and a new flat if you wanted to compare it with caesium.
By the way, don’t try this at home.

Did you know?
The elements at the end of the periodic table are so unstable that they fall apart within milliseconds of being formed.

No prizes for guessing what’s hidden here:
K N N W H C K P L U T O N I U M R U H P L U S M O
D O C J K J J E S T N V H K R I F S Y I G U D H T
I B U X N I B O G K J F V H W L I N J V W G T N M
W R R E W R I B Z I M V Q N K V E O M F I U J O Q
N A N U B E E O V U A L O V X Z B L E H N A A G V
G C Z M A O V Z I R G N P F Q P O T S G N N B T U
R U R A D O N L C O N N G C Q I C M S E W H F W U
V B F G Z Z E L T H E A U N R U U T T H Y S H Z Z
L T X U R H L Z I Y S A J Z X I E T I W G F K S H
E X D Z Q G C C J B I V S N N N B Y L K G E O U T
M V Y C I Y S I C L U Y Q I F I W N T U T I D R K
D X S F H V V H V Z M I M X N Y R X P M Y O A O K
Z E Y H J C K W M H R U X Y P N K O E N V J C H B
W B N D T T A K U A L P A Z L K F U N H O B S P N
D T L O E V Y G N A N T U F L V Z L N J H Z X S S
H K R G C F O U I C P G Y F O H B N V Y B B B O E
U S R W O I E Y B X N B A N N E B B O C H P H H G
F B P I Z V L H S X F C P N N K I P P L S F S P P
G A M X M T B I D F T R P B E T O U N S Z S G D W
V S L F F R S C S P L Q V I B S S E W U Q G C X E
G M S Y Q U W Q L V S P B M H L E C E E Y I K V K
M A V F S R B Y Q Z H C R K O A Z K A L L D U K A
M V I J H D O Q X F V O Y T I U I S R M K H K Z U
P Q G S F V S J G B H Z L J Y N R K V F S G S T B
Q I L G K N X F X A N C E Z V B V K M R R C X E E

KEY
carbon, sulphur, aluminium, helium, plutonium, iron, tungsten, radon, silicon, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus

polecane: Pierwszy Polak połknął elektroniczną pigułkę

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