Making a metal teaspoon that melts in a cup of tea

In this episode of Periodic Videos, professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff from the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham describes the process of making a spoon from an alloy that melts in a cup of hot tea. The alloy is called Field's Alloy and it has a melting temperature of 62 °C (144 °F). It was named after its inventor, Simon Quellen Field of SciToys and is made from bismuth, lead, and tin. Here's Simon's article about the alloy. Read the rest

Crushing things with a little vacuum pump

Chris Notap used a small, cheap vacuum pump to suck the air out of a variety of plastic containers ranging from bread bags to 55 gallon drums. Read the rest

Putting a large marshmallow gummy bear in a vacuum chamber

As the air leaves the chamber, the marshmallow gummy bear bloats. Its candy skin forms fissures. After it reaches its maximum size, the operator opens a valve. The bear implodes under atmospheric pressure, becoming a puddly lump at the bottom of the chamber. Read the rest