Sunday, January 15, 2006

Graphite rods

Sample: .5mm graphite from a mechanical pencil
Source: Room, floor.

If a piece of graphite from a pencil is placed into a microwave and stood up vertically, it produces a delightfully bright (and loud) spark at the end. After removing the graphite from the microwave, it appears like the end of the rod has been ablated off, leaving a razor-sharp tip. How sharp? The answers lie below...

Graphite, 10x.

Graphite, 60x. Note the remarkable difference between the fresh from the pencil sample and
the microwaved one.

Graphite, 200x.

Microwaved graphite, 200x.


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