Periodic Table Videos


Videos related to the periodic table…

First and foremost, “The Elements Song”, by Tom Lehrer. Buckle up.

Click here to view the lyrics to “The Elements Song.” Historically, Lehrer incorporated all the elements up to 102, nobelium, meaning he’s ten short of the modern periodic table. Anyone up for writing a new verse? (PS – you can view a live version of the song here, which somehow goes even faster than this one.)

A BBC video of my favorite element, mercury. A tub that size means a lot of broken thermometers, let me tell you.

Another mercury video. Look at it go!

This isn’t a video, but it’s even crazier than the last two. It’s a picture from a 1972 issue of National Geographic, and yes, that man is sitting in a pool of mercury. No gloves, no mask. Just courage, or stupidity.

At last: The “disappearing spoon” video. It’s not the best quality, but you can get a good sense of how quickly the metal melts when he plunges the spoon inside.

You can see more gallium videos at this link (scroll down).

Now we enter the more juvenile section of the page. First, exploding sodium in large bodies of water.

(There are about a million more of these videos on YouTube, but be careful for crying out loud. This stuff hurts. Apparently it’s a tradition at MIT to throw sodium into the Charles River, and a few years ago, an unexploded chunk blew up in the face of some poor sanitation worker who was trying to clean up. It’s like land mines.)

Finally, a pop-&-Mentos video. Not strictly element-related, but it comes up in my book in the chapter on elements and bubbles.