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A Mercury Hammer and the Third Law of Thermodynamics

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Channel: The Royal Institution
Categories: Chemistry   |   Physics   |   Science  
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Armed with a hammer made from mercury, Olympia Brown explains the third law of thermodynamics.
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This video is from our 2016 advent calendar. Watch the full series here:

Mercury is beautiful. It’s the only metal that’s a liquid at room temperature and pressure. In its liquid state the atoms have enough thermal energy to overcome the rigid metallic bonds that confine most metals to solids at room temperature.

The third law of thermodynamics links temperature and entropy. Olympia Brown explores this relationship, freezing mercury into its less-familiar solid state to make a tiny hammer.

Our 2016 advent calendar explores the four laws of thermodynamics with a new short film each day, with explosive demonstrations, unique animations, and even a musical number. Open the calendar at

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