All abuzz about the Periodic Table

Tomorrow we do our first (and final) dress rehearsal for the play (uhh lecture with costumes) “Conversations on Victorian Chemistry”, which will be held Wednesday at the Morgan-Manning House (in Brockport, for the 2-3 out of state visitors to my website). In addition to the performance, we are showcasing some chemistry demonstrations. Piezoelectricity played a significant role in Marie Curie’s discovery of radioactivity and we have made some piezoelectric crystals out of cream of tartar. After following the suggestions in this Collin’s Lab video, I just went into our stockroom and found some potassium sodium tartrate (aka Rochelle’s salt) to recrystallize.

Left-hand side are some Rochelle salt crystals. Right hand side is the voltage generated by tapping the hard-to-see crystal in my 3D printed vise.

(and if you are wondering what the connection is with the title, the thing that makes your smartphone vibrate is probably one of these.)

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