Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Threshold of Science: A Variety of Simple and Amusing Experiments

Wet a small gold coin with mercury (by well rubbing) and allow to stand some time; it will become so brittle that it may easily be broken in half; and if the fractured surfaces are examined, it will be seen that the mercury has crept inwards and become distributed throughout the entire mass, the action much resembling the passage of water into a mass of blotting paper...

Compact india-rubber, although not porous to gases or liquids in the ordinary sense, is capable of absorbing or dissolving small quantities (eg, benzene) without in any way losing its solidity, the fluids penetrating the entire mass in much the same as the mercury does the gold in the above experiment.

No comments: