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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:*** (2.49)
Category:Science
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.


Answer

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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