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Angry Metal

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#42092
Fun:*** (2.59)
Difficulty:*** (2.48)
Submitted By:tangled_brainAus****!!
Corrected By:ultimatecub




I may not be very nice if you hold me,
But I could tell you the time.
My melting point is rather low for a metal;
Only mercury has one lower than mine.
Expose me to water and very angry I'll be,
Though some of my friends would be angrier than I.


The metal is cesium! Cesium (Cs) is an alkali metal and is very reactive because it is only one electron away from having a full outer shell. This is also the reason halogens react so easily. Cesium's melting point is the second lowest of all metals: a measly 28.5 C! If one dared to hold cesium in his hand, it would melt and also react with the water in and on his skin to create CsOH, which is, needless to say, a deadly compound. The reaction is bad enough: a single gram reacting with water releases 1526 J of heat and explodes on contact!

Cesium, although very low in the group, is NOT the most reactive metal; surprisingly, lithium (Li) is!

A second is defined as 9,192,631,770 vibrations of a Cs 133 atom.


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May 31, 2008

Hm. I was think sodium, but I knew that couldn't be right. Good to learn something new!
Jun 09, 2008

doesnt sodium do the same? or similar? I recall touching it....once. excellent
Jun 09, 2008

Sodium is very similar! The things that distinguish Cesium from Sodium in this teaser are their meltings points, reactivity, and the fact that Cs is used to register time in official government atomic clocks.
Aug 19, 2008

If you attempted tohold a handful of Cs, the reaction would cause youto cesium and desistium!
Good Teaser!
Sep 17, 2008

Bad rhyme lol
Oct 27, 2008

But Cs works too
Dec 13, 2008

If the metal has such a low reactionary rating, then at what point is anger (fury) so prominent? I thought the level of reaction displayed the furious nature of the element or anger level? Excellent Teaser, Good to learn something.
Dec 13, 2008

oh, no, it is low in the group in the periodic table--Cs is actually very reacive.
Dec 13, 2008

Oh and thanks.
Jan 21, 2009

Thought it was rubidium because you say "some of my friendS" which I thought ruled out Cs and Fr. I think Fr has a lower boiling point than Cs as well
Mar 08, 2011

Yay!! I got that!
Oct 02, 2011

Small factual error: You have stated Lithium as being the most reactive of the alkali metals, but the intensity of the reaction goes UP along with the atomic number. So lithium is the leastt reactive.
Jun 10, 2012

When I heard the part about the low melting point, I thought, Mercury! But then I read that it wasn't mercury and I was, like, oh.
Apr 15, 2015

Caesium IS the most reactive metal. The 1 valence electron (group 1) gets easier to remove going down the group since it is further from the +ve charge of the nucleus. Factual error.

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