Dirt

That\’s the answer to this:

Others, for example the entrant who asked: \”What happens if you mix together all of the substances from the periodic table\”, appeared more keen to satisfy a burning curiosity.

You get dirt.

Depending upon how you mix them, in what quantities, what the original state was (for example, if you mix your Li, H and O as lithium metal and water you\’ll get a much more vigorous reaction than if you mixed them as lithium oxide plus hydrogen) various differently explosive things might or could happen, but the end result is going to be, umm, dirt.

Because that\’s what dirt is: the result of mixing all of the elements.

7 comments on “Dirt

  1. You would get a massive explosion first, though. And you wouldn’t be able to go near the resulting dirt because of the presence of unstable radioactive elements from far up the periodic table. Nasty.

    Tim adds: The explosion would depend on how you mixed it all. And the radioactives? I do sort of assume that we’re going to be mixing it in the same proportions as the Earth itself. 11% Al, 8 % Si, whatever it is, all the way down to 0.003 ppm Te and whatever 40 kg of Promethium in the entire plent comes out to.

    It’ll end up being exactly as radioactive as the planet is, as dirt is. I.e., not very much.

  2. Well, arguably if you mixed it in the same proportions as the Earth you would get, er, a smaller Earth. But I do seem to remember an explosion being part of the theory of Earth-creation?

    Tim adds: Stellar explosions, yes. All atoms (ie, all elements) higher or heavier than iron were created in exploding stars, yes. That’s not quite the same thing as saying that the Earth itself was created by an explosion.

  3. Don’t argue with Tim, chaps: I did the experiment in Dad’s garden shed and I can assure that the result was indiscernibly different from dirt.

  4. I like the idea of separating out all the rare earth elementss from each other and then letting them re-combine…that seems such a sensible thing to do

  5. I like the idea of separating out all the rare earth elements from each other and then letting them re-combine…that seems such a sensible thing to do

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