Melting the Unmeltable
There are many ways to melt metal, but an arc furnace can liquefy almost anything you put in it, using only electricity.
Dept: Gray Matter
Project: Arc melting
Time: 30 minutes
DABBLER | | | | | MASTER
About a century ago, having no television for entertainment, a famous French chemist named Henri Moissan decided to see what would happen if he stuck two carbon-graphite electrodes into an insulated box and ran a lot of electric current through them. He figured if he trapped and concentrated the heat produced by the arc he struck, he might be able to do something neat with it. (Yes, scientists get paid for thoughts like these.)
Moissan’s hunch was right–boy, was it right. He quickly found that with temperatures reaching 5,000