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Fun/Dangerous Experiments (17)

These are elements I've done experiments with at one time or another: Click the sample pictures to read about them. Some of these experiments are quite dangerous, and will result in burns, chronic or acute poisoning, blindness or death. Unless, of course, you are careful and understand what you are doing, what the dangers are, and how to protect yourself. Danger is part of life: Respect it and it will let you live.

I would like to add a special note for any teenagers who are reading this section. One of the great things about teenagers is that you are, for the most part, biologically incapable of confronting your own mortality. And I mean that in the best possible way. I know you're perfectly well aware, in an intellectual sort of way, that you're human and that no one lives forever. But you don't really believe that, do you? You don't, and that's why you can go out and take chances, break barriers, change the world, in ways that more sensible people would be way too sensible for. That is your power: Use it. And some day in your late 20s or early 30s, you will stop in your tracks and for the first time in your life really understand death: Yours. It's scary, but it's how you grow.

That is the day you'll start wearing safety glasses when you do these experiments. In the mean time, all I can say is, please wear glasses anyway, even though you know in your heart that nothing could ever happen to you. Ideally they should be wrap-around safety glasses, but let's be realistic here: Any glasses are better than none. If you don't wear corrective lenses, find some good open-frame safety glasses at the hardware store. They are comfortable, don't steam up, and are much easier to clean than the goggle-type. If you'll actually wear those, that's way better than sealed goggle types you aren't wearing.

Why are glasses so important? Because having your cheeks ripped off by shrapnel, your hair burned to the roots, and your nose split open and folded up over your forehead is nothing, nothing compared to being blind for the rest of your life. Not even close.

On that note, here are some elements you can do great experiments with.

Click any element below to see all the samples of that element, or click on the sample picture to go directly to the description of that sample.

Text and images Copyright (c) 2010 by Theodore W. Gray.

Hydrogen Bottle of Homemade hydrogen
Bottle of Homemade hydrogen
Hydrogen: Info | Video | Story
Lithium Long-life AA battery
Long-life AA battery
Lithium: Info
Carbon Pyrolytic graphite
Pyrolytic graphite.
Carbon: Info | Video
Nitrogen Natural sample, 78% Pure
Natural sample, 78% Pure.
Nitrogen: Info | Sound
Oxygen Mini welding gas cylinder
Mini welding gas cylinder.
Oxygen: Info | Spin | 3D
Sodium Heck-of-a-lump
Sodium: Info | Spin | 3D | Sound | Video | Story
Magnesium Bulk rod
Bulk rod.
Magnesium: Info | 3D | Sound | Story
Aluminum Water drop blobs
Water drop blobs.
Aluminium: Info | Spin | 3D
Phosphorus Kitchen matches
Kitchen matches.
Phosphorus: Info | Sound
Sulfur Flowers of sulfur
Flowers of sulfur.
Sulfur: Info | Story
Zinc Scrap roof flashing
Scrap roof flashing.
Zinc: Info | 3D | Sound | Story
Silver One ounce silver rounds
One ounce silver rounds.
Silver: Info | Spin | 3D
Tin Crying bars
Crying bars.
Tin: Info | Sound
Iodine Small crystals,  99.99%
Small crystals, 99.99%.
Iodine: Info | Story
Neodymium Rare earth magnet
Rare earth magnet.
Neodymium: Info | Sound | Video
Lead Plumbing lead
Plumbing lead.
Lead: Info | 3D | Sound
Bismuth Home-grown crystals
Home-grown crystals.
Bismuth: Info | Video | Story
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