Lithium floats on water. It is a soft, silver-white metal found in seawater and in plants, plankton and invertebrates. When heated, it turns crimson red, and is used in flares and pyrotechnics. Lithium is found in dwarf brown stars, carbon stars and twinkling stars. Most recently, it is used in batteries. I deliberately chose not to depict the more dramatic use of lithium as a pharmaceutical.
Category Archives: Alkali Metals
This soft, silver-gold metal has a melting point of 82 degrees F, which makes it one of 5 metals that are liquid near room temperature. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the brilliant sky-blue it emits when burned.
Cesium also decays at an exceptionally stable rate; therefore when the scientists of the world decided to regularize our timekeeping, they turned to cesium. In early definitions, the length of a second was based on calculating fractions of the apparent motion of the earth and sun which they found meant that a second is not always a second–sometimes it’s longer, sometimes it’s shorter. That’s no way to run a universe. So in 1967, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures used an isotope of cesium to help define an unequivocal second: “the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.”
Cesium is used in atomic clocks. In this piece, I depicted an atomic clock with a kind of steam punk esthetic.
This essential mineral is very important for good health, it boosts heart health and helps keep blood pressure in check, it is responsible for muscle contractions, sending oxygen to the brain, and regulates heartbeat. Potassium is found in fruits and vegetables, fish, seafood, animals, birds, beans, greens, grain, seeds and dairy. I wanted to depict the variety of foods providing an interesting buffet of potassium. This small art project does not begin to encompass all the possibilities of potassium rich foods, it merely gives you something to ponder.
Francium, which was discovered in France, is the last naturally occurring element to be discovered and it is the second rarest element. Due to its extremely short half life (only 22 minutes) and its rarity, it has no uses, so I chose to associate it with something French – in this case, good red wines.