Completely and totally off-topic and without any merit whatsoever

From: Pete Turnbull <>
Date: Tue Sep 7 17:26:28 2004

On Sep 7 2004, 12:40, Dan Williams wrote:
> On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 23:14:16 -0700 (PDT), Vintage Computer Festival
> <> wrote:
> >
> > I've got some quicksilver that I liberated from some evacuated
glass tubes
> > by cracking the tips of the tubes and then emptying the contents
into a
> > container. Unfortunately, some tiny glass shards got into the
> > and is now mixed in. How can I filter out the glass shards so they
> > cut up my esophagus when I drink it?

> I'm guessing you haven't got an electron microscope and and a very
> small pair of tweezers.....

I'm surprised nobody has thought of the obvious: mercury is
considerably denser than glass, so the glass would float on the
surface. All you have to do is skim it. Never mind skimmed milk,
Sellam, you can have skimmed quicksilver ;-)

A more interesting way would be to use some other metal to make an
amalgam, leaving the glass behind, and then recover the mercury from
the amalgam. Sodium's good. If you put sodium amalgam in water, it
will decompose into nicely fizzy caustic soda solution and pure
mercury, giving off hydrogen, which "burns rather readily".

The usual method of filtering mercury is to use a small folded filter
paper, with a very small hole torn in the point of the cone. The
mercury will run through the small hole, but most of the rubbish, which
floats on the top, will stay behind. You usually need to do this a
couple of times.

Pete						Peter Turnbull
						Network Manager
						University of York
Received on Tue Sep 07 2004 - 17:26:28 BST

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