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Vacuum packed slug.
An example of the element Lithium

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Lithium Vacuum packed slug
Vacuum packed slug.
This is an amazing rough cylinder of lithium metal. Amazing because it's so incredibly light. It seems to weigh almost nothing, especially if you pick it up knowing it's made of solid metal, which it is. The density of lithium is half that of water, far lighter than anything you normally think of as a light metal (magnesium, beryllium, aluminum, titanium, all these are three to nine times denser than lithium).
It's vacuum packed in plastic to prevent it from rapidly turning into lithium oxide dust: It's not stable in air, and even in this packaging it's not going to last long: You can already see spots of oxidation forming on the surface as air and water diffuse through the plastic. This is of course one reason why people don't make things out of lithium: They wouldn't last long. The other reason is that it's quite soft, useless as a structural metal.
Source: Juan Jimenez
Contributor: Juan Jimenez
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: Donated
Size: 3"
Purity: >99%
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