What do you think is the 'coolest' element?

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For me it's a toss up between osmium metal and bromine. Bromine is just so interesting in how reactive it is and the deep red-brown color of its liquid. Plus, it is the only non-metal that is a liquid at room temperature. It gives off a very thick colored vapor and does wonders on aluminum. hehe. Osmium is neat because it has that distinctive blue color and is so freaking dense. Plus, it's chemical behavior seems to change depending on its physical state. Five grams of powdered/sponge osmium will rapidly oxidize on exposure to air and give off the nasty smelling, and very toxic, compound osmium tetroxide. Yet if you have five grams of osmium melted down into a solid button, it's completely stable. That just seems so interesting to me.

for me (CARBON) is the coolest coz i love organic chemistry :lol:

sodium/potasium + boiling water in a 20ltr beaker = glass shapnell but a cool explosion...

This is a pretty good experiment (well, demonstration).
My science teacher liked doing it (after presumable getting the idea from Dr. Winter himself; Dr. Winter and his fun experiments in lectures was the only reason my chemistry teacher stayed at university in Sheffield):


unobtainium is the most cool for me. Always just out of reach.

I've always liked mercury. The fact that it's a liquid metal at room temperature is a concept I find amazing. And the way it breaks up when splattered, rather than becoming a puddle like water, is also interesting. And of course, it's color. Such a bright, wonderous, silver gives the real silver a run for it's money, maybe gold. Too bad it causes brain damage.

There's a few.

Indium is my current favourite. It's a very soft metal, yet very non-toxic. It's just weird playing with a metal that's so soft. It also cries like tin.

It also has a very low melting point and doesn't oxidise too easily. You can melt it in a Bunsen flame and put it in a plaster of paris mould to make anything you want easily.

I spilt a crucible of molten indium once and it splashed on the floor and instantly solidified. When I picked it up I had a huge sheet of indium foil that all came up in one piece!

Mercury is great fun to mess about with, it's especially wierd watching lead float on it! (wrap the lead up in cling fil first though, or it'll form an amalgam).

Favourite non-metal has to be white phosphorous, which burns in air at room temperature. You take it out of the oil and it catches fire!

However, if anyone has any clear crystalline carbon they want to get rid of, I'll always be happy to take it off your hands!



definitley gotta be ununpentuim :wink:

sodium...just add water...and BOOM! ive never seen it happen but my friend told me a story about it and it seemed cool.

[quote="WEFuser"]sodium...just add water...and BOOM! ive never seen it happen but my friend told me a story about it and it seemed cool.[/quote]

Look here to see what happens when someone hurls chunks of the stuff into a lake.




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