Science Projects: Floating on Hexafluoride

Whatever floats your boat: [youtube]1PJTq2xQiQ0[/youtube] This cool science demonstration shows a light "boat" floating on a sea of sulfur hexafluoride gas.  The gas is significantly denser than the surrounding air, but still transparent, so it looks like a magic trick. This experiment might not be as easy to do as our last article about non-newtonian fluids, although you can apparently get sulfur hexafluoride for as little as $10 a pound.  If you do get your hands on some, the floating on thin air tick is just one fun thing to do with it. Most people have performed the serious scientific experiment knowns as "inhaling a helium balloon." If you inhale helium, your voice will change to a higher pitch because the speed of sound in helium is higher than in air. With Sodium Hexafluoride, the opposite is true, and you'll have a Barry White-style bass. [youtube]a9ifZlu6YKk[/youtube] Don't inhale too much, or release it in an enclosed space - because it's heavier than air, it can stick around and make it hard to get enough oxygen.

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