A Trillion Times More Acidic Than Hydrochloric Acid
June 8, 2024 3:20 PM   Subscribe

A Tier List of Superacids (YT 13:43)

A brief article on what makes superacid, and various things being dropped into some superacid. (YT 9:07)
posted by lucidium (11 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
o hai hydronium, mah old friend! my pH meter is broken.

also..... can i order a bucket of helonium?
posted by lalochezia at 4:05 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

I haven't seen anything like that except molecular acid.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:13 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]

Oh hey, one of my profs as an undergrad had done a little work on superacids years ago.
posted by Canageek at 4:17 PM on June 8

The one that scares me is Hydrofluoric Acid.

Someone in my city died from that on November 12, 1994, and it was a long, slow, painful death.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 4:24 PM on June 8

The one that scares me is Hydrofluoric Acid.

Once, a very long time ago, I (a temporary worker reconciling invoices deep in the bowels of a university you've probably heard of) ran across an invoice for a (small, iirc) quantity of Chlorine Trifluoride, with a separate line item for rapid shipment (again, iirc).

...if you spill any amount of it, you get hot hydrofluoric acid clouds coming off the reaction.

The only reason I figured any of this out, pre-internet, is I'd never seen that chemical before so I asked someone what it was. It was quite out-of-character for the Department in question, and one of the things I was being paid for was to notice patterns in the invoices.

I was then appalled.

It was kinda like when I discovered SLOWPOKE in a random corner UAB (don't worry, it was extremely locked; all I could do was wonder why a room named SLOWPOKE had such big-ass door locks and rad symbols, and I didn't figure it out until a few years later, because, again, no internet).
posted by aramaic at 5:07 PM on June 8 [7 favorites]

Ironically the paid promotion is about a website that supposedly makes you smarter, ostensibly causing you to not do dumb things.

Also: Previously for fans of reactants, Ignition! is a fun read.
posted by credulous at 6:50 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

What kind of blotter paper would you use for that stuff?
posted by TedW at 7:31 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

Now I want to know what SLOWPOKE is.
posted by evilDoug at 7:49 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Found it, here.
posted by evilDoug at 7:52 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

This reminds me of the good old days of Things I Won't Work With. (Previously)
posted by JHarris at 12:55 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]

"The one that scares me is Hydrofluoric Acid."

Oh, I know about this one. A long time ago, as a grad student, I had to dissolve up some rock samples for analysis. These things contained minerals - like chromite - that aren't very soluble in anything much, so we had to get out the Bad Stuff. A boiling mixture of conc nitric, hydrofluoric and perchloric acids. It would eat just about anything - floor tiles, polythene, wood, Teflon, glass, grad students - and if you got any on you, you dived into a shower cubicle in the corner of the lab, pulled a handle, and had a bath in sodium hydroxide, hopefully before the hydrofluoric acid got to your nervous system. It's about that time that I decided computers would make a safer career.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 9:09 AM on June 10

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