Materials Geekery

Many years ago, my mom bought me the book Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood.In it author Oliver Sacks expounds on his fascination with different materials and his formidable skills as a budding chemist/materials scientist as a child in wartime and post-war london. At some point in the book he mentions a display in a museum containing physical examples of all the elements in the periodic table. Great stuff, I thought. Maybe I could do something like that. Despite having worked in a foundry and desigining for and working at accelerators, I really never got going on the project. It is daunting, some of the materials are a bit dangerous, a few are alot dangerous, some are really really expensive, some are hard to get in a purified form and others are difficult to store and display.

However, thanks to theodore gray who seems to have a bit of income, time and spectacular connections, there is a great website with examples of all the materials. Kind of a online example of the physical periodic table, with a twist. He built an actuall table in the shape of the periodic table and the table has a spot for an example of the element. Pretty damn good stuff. But even better is his website, which has multitudes of examples of each element.

The wooden periodic table

Great great stuff. History, manufacturing, materials, everything. I am in geeked out materials science boy heaven. If you like the website, go get Uncle Tungsten,it was the inspiration for the wooden periodic table and a great read.

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