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Light My Fire

  • By Anna Rothschild
  • Posted 12.15.11
  • NOVA

The ability of the elements to change phase—to transform from a solid to a liquid to a gas—is a perfect set-up for romantic comedy. Watch the story of an unlikely laboratory love affair, and learn about one of the basic properties of matter in the process.

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Launch Video Running Time: 01:18

Transcript

Comic Science

First...the science (this will only take a second).

All elements on Earth can be found in one of three states, called "phases":

  1. solid
  2. liquid
  3. gas

Elements can change from one phase to another based on the temperature and pressure of the environment.

And now...the joke!

A small piece of sodium living in a test tube fell in love with his neighbor, a Bunsen burner.

Sodium: Bunsen, my love! I melt whenever I see you.

Bunsen: Oh, it's just a phase you're going through.

The End

Credits

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Video short produced by
Anna Rothschild
Original Footage
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2011

Image

(sodium and flame)
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2011

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