Tales from the Periodic Table: Indium

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 • 7:00 p.m. PDT

Free online event: Join below or via YouTube or Facebook

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. 

Since joining the Exploratorium in 1971, Ron Hipschman has worked as an exhibit developer, author, teacher, and webcast host. He currently works on the Exploratorium’s Environmental Initiative, implementing and maintaining a collection of environmental monitoring sensors and developing visualizations for the Bay Observatory Gallery’s super-resolution media wall. In addition to Everything Matters, Ron hosts the physics lecture series Full-Spectrum Science.