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Gallium Fountain

Easily baked?
  [vote for,

This is an idea for a fountian that cycles pure liquid gallium. This special element is a shiny metal and is in liquid form just above room temperature (298K). So, the gallium fountian could function with little energy requirements above a normal fountian. AND, it would look way cooler. Gallium, as far as we know, poses no toxic affects at moderate exposure, fyi.
daseva, Aug 18 2006

(??) The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huangdi http://www.utexas.e...ios98/smithbio.html
See the bottom of the third paragraph [ldischler, Aug 18 2006]

Mercury fountain http://en.wikipedia...ki/Mercury_fountain
Miro's mercury fountaain, in Barcelona. I've seen it and it's quite impressive. [hippo, Aug 18 2006]

Idiot floating in pool of mercury. http://www.theodore...es/MercuryMiner.JPG
[ldischler, Aug 18 2006]

Somebody has seen it. http://www.tripadvi...aanxi.html#20342773
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 27 2009]


       Apparently gallium has a tendency to supercool (i.e. it doesn't solidify below its melting point unless it's seeded) This might allow you to run your fountain at below 298K in a controlled environment such that you might be able to trigger an instant freezing of the entire fountain in mid flow.   

       Isn't there a story about a Chinese emperor who built a massive underground model of his dominion, complete with rivers and seas of free flowing mercury?
zen_tom, Aug 18 2006

       [zen_tom] There is just such a report but I am not sure that any western scientist has ever seen it(china tends to be funny like that)
jhomrighaus, Aug 18 2006

       Ah! Miro's mercury fountain, which was originally out in the open. What an environmental nightmare!
ldischler, Aug 18 2006

       zen_tom: not *an* emperor - *the* emperor - Qin himself, the first emperor. Sadly, he seems to have died of mercury poisoning.
DrCurry, Aug 18 2006

       This would be beautiful and safer then mercury. Not inexpensive. One vendor offers gallium at $450 per 100g, so this would be for the very wealthy.
jmvw, Aug 18 2006

       The spot price for gallium is $550/kg, but there are a number of bismuth based allows that go for as little as $10/lb. 158F is the lowest melting temp.

Also, there's an indium/gallium alloy that melts at about 45F.
ldischler, Aug 18 2006

       Sounds fun. +
dbmag9, Aug 18 2006

       Possible problem that affects longevity: gallium corrodes. Perhaps enclose the fountain in a glass box filled with nitrogen. Or submerge the fountain in water (mix in less noble metal as sacrificial anode?) or light mineral oil. Wouldn't an underwater fountain be cool? Maybe mounted in the floor of a swimming pool?
jmvw, Aug 19 2006

       I have gone long enough without seeing this.
bungston, Dec 22 2009

       Oh for heaven's sake - just use mercury and stop being such wimps. Mercury wasn't particularly dangerous until quite recently.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 26 2009

       //[zen_tom] There is just such a report but I am not sure that any western scientist has ever seen it(china tends to be funny like that) — jhomrighaus, Aug 18 2006//   

       In that case, I don't expect this [link] to stay working for long so look quick.   


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