Elements in Science Fiction: can we find them on the periodic table and in real crystal structures?



September 5, 2023

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  • Do elements from science fiction exist in real life? Can we find them on the periodic table? Are there real crystal structures and compounds that have similar properties to science fiction ones? The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) and The British Crystallographic Association (BCA) have joined forces to find out! In this video Rosie Lester, PhD student in the Centre for Medical Materials at the University of Cambridge, explores some of these fictional elements and tries to find their match on the periodic table. Explore with us: - 00:48 Adamant, a fantasy favourite, found in Greek mythology, in The Lord of the Rings, and even in the Marvel comics! - 03:42 Bombastium, the rarest element in the (fantasy) world. - 06:04 Redstone, used in Minecraft for wiring. - 06:55 Bonus: why is the Statue of Liberty in new York green-blue? - 08:54 Explore the periodic table resources and activities on the CCDC website https://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Community/educationalresources/PeriodicTable/ The structures presented in this video are from the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD), and the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database. The images and gif frames for each structures were generated using functionality available in the free version of CCDC's Mercury visualization software. https://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Community/csd-community/freemercury/ To explore the (real) CSD structures present in this video, go to the CCDC website, then Access Structures and insert the refcode (see below) in the Identifier(s) line and click search: - ADAMAN08 for adamantane - MITJUW for amantadine - BUPHEB for the iodium-palladium compound This video is aimed at anyone wanting to learn more about chemistry and the periodic table. It is particularly relevant for students aged 12 upwards studying Chemistry or Science subjects, those revising for exams or quizzes, and anyone with an inquisitive mind! Follow the CCDC on social media: Twitter: @ccdc_cambridge Facebook: Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) Instagram: @ccdc_cambridge Follow the BCA on social media: Twitter: @britcryst Facebook: @britishcrystallography YouTube: BCA Education


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