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September 23, 2020

media object: Indium

Come be in your elements with Exploratorium host and scientific raconteur Ron Hipschman—follow tales of intrigue and invention, join in dynamic demonstrations, and uncover fascinating connections between individual elements and our collective human experience.

Not named after the subcontinent of India, but rather for the bright blue-violet (that is, indigo) light emitted by the element when excited, the metal indium is silvery and very soft—so soft that you can easily cut it with a knife! Without this relatively rare element, it would be difficult to make the liquid-crystal displays in our phones, tablets, computer screens, and televisions, and the all-blue light-emitting diode used in white LED bulbs, wouldn't be possible at all. Come hear the full story about these and other surprising uses of indium. 

In the spirit of amplifying the Black Lives Matter movement and to avoid any appearance of having appropriated that title, our series of talks formerly called Everything Matters: Tales from the Periodic Table will now be called, simply, Tales from the Periodic Table. Please excuse the former title on videos made in the past.