June 14, 2016 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

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Embedded below the fold. Batchelor was really fascinated by the net gun to catch space junk.


  • Andy from Beaverton

    15:45 You went back and forth on inert gases and nobel gases. All the gases you named were nobel gases. Nobel gases can react be reactive and make compounds, while inert gases are not reactive under some conditions.

  • Hm. I honestly was unaware that there is a difference between noble and inert gases. In both cases, I have always thought the terms refer to the six elements on the right side of the periodic table that have electrons filling all the slots in their outermost orbits and thus do not form molecules with other elements, except in rare cases. If I am wrong, I’d like to be educated. Your explanation really doesn’t help me.

  • wayne

    From the gods at Wikipedia:

    “The term inert gas is context-dependent because several of the noble gases can be made to react under certain conditions.
    “Unlike noble gases, an inert gas is not necessarily elemental and is often a compound gas. Like the noble gases the tendency for non-reactivity is due to the valence, the outermost electron shell, being complete in all the inert gases. This is a tendency, not a rule, as noble gases and other “inert” gases can react to form compounds.”

    That being quoted– any actual Chemist’s in the audience?? (I only know just enough to be dangerous.)

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