Never say chemists lack creativity.
A few months ago I wrote about the Periodic Table table. Theodore W. Gray, winner of The American Chemical Society 2011 James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public, created an actual table the housed all the elements in the Periodic Table.
Today I stumbled across The Periodic Table Of Videos from The University of Nottingham. While tables charting the chemical elements have been around since the 19th century, this modern version has a short video about each one – 118 short videos in all.
The video for Zinc starts off with the instructor grabbing two fire extinguishers and making sure they are at the ready. After a few words about Zinc, one of the interviewees claims that it is a pretty boring metal. The glove has been thrown and another colleague challenges the concept that Zinc is a boring metal – even stating that it can get "quite frisky." Yet another Zinc enthusiast notes that without Zinc, none of us could survive.
Returning back to the fire extinguishers, we are treated to an example of what this element can do. I hate to disrespect Zinc, but it is a little boring. I was expecting a huge explosion or similar fanfare. What I saw was more like a sparkler at a Fourth of July celebration. I do love sparklers, but when you toss around a word like "frisky" and pull out two fire extinguishers, I feel a little let down. But I really dig the videos and learned a lot from them -- and the passion that the team of professors exudes is enough to make me keep watching.
Check it out for yourself >> http://www.periodicvideos.com
Senior Digital Editor