Alkali metals in water

The girl child came home buzzing yesterday after a Chemistry lesson in which they got to chuck some Sodium into some water. This reminded me of that iconic Open University video where they do the same demonstration with a number of Group 1 Metals, namely Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium and Caesium.

Don’t bother with the first bit (unless you really want to). The fun starts at about 1:06, so scroll straight through. And it’s definitely worth a minute or so of your time, so do bear with it, even when they insist on putting the equation for the chemical reaction across the screen, 1970s style.
And do put the sound on so that you don’t miss the deadpan commentary, with lines like:

You can see that things become gradually more terrifying as we go down the group.

The involuntary whistle and abrupt end to the video are perfect. It’s not like they didn’t know what was coming, and yet…

We’re going to need another beaker, Ted.

I miss those carefree (by which I mean “H&S-free”) days in the laboratory.