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Photographs by Jeff Sciortino (2)

The plasma cutting this spiral is eight times hotter than the Sun, but the heat is so concentrated the string won’t burn.

Dept.: Gray Matter

Investigator: Theodore Gray

Shop Tech: Plasma-arc torches

Project: Metal spiral

Time: 45 minutes

Element: Hafnium — Appearance: Exotic and ductile heavy metal with
smooth silvery surface and high corrosion resistance Most common uses: Nuclear control rods, plasma-arc
torches, incandescent lamps and alloys Melting temp: 2,229

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