Monthly Archives: August 2021

Elemental Dice 1 – 3

There has been some Kickstarter projects under the name Elemental Dice. Backers get dice made of “pure” elements, well as pure as possible. When it comes to very valuable elements (like gold) the dice are just plated with pure gold.

The first 3 Elemental Dice projects contained 15 different elements:

I decided to weight them and present some stats:

Atomic
Number
ElementDensity
Real (g/cm)
Dice Weight (g)Density
Actual (g/cm)
Quote
12Mg1.73871.7198.33%
13Al2.7112.6999.46%
22Ti4.5184.3997.66%
26Fe7.874307.3293.02%
28Ni8.9358.5496.01%
29Cu8.96368.7998.09%
30Zi7.133256.1085.57%
45Rh14.4358.5459.34%Plated
46Pd11.9358.5471.81%Plated
47Ag10.494110.0195.42%
50Sn7.31297.0896.85%
74W19.37718.8097.40%
78Pt21.45348.3038.70%Plated
39Au19.25358.5444.39%Plated
83Bi9.78389.2894.86%

The side of the dice are 16mm. But there are cavities and roundings so their actual volume is slightly smaller.

The plated dice all weight 34-35g, and they probably have the same interior. Their weight is rather uninteresting.

When it comes to the “as pure as possible dice” most of them are more or less within the error margin of my 1g resolution scale. Iron (Fe) seems to be an alloy with something lighter and Zink (Zi) even more so.

As expected, Nickel (Ni) and Iron (Fe) seems to be magnetic.

Silver

2021-10-14: I wrote separate post about the two silver dice and questioned some of below conclusions.


Silver is a noble metal, but everyone who has owned silverware knows that it gets blackish after a while. After a while I had the feeling that my silver dice were the ones that had deteriorated the most since I received them. I happen to own silver dice: one solid and one that is just plated.

Today someone who should know told me: pure silver does not oxidize like that in air. I had a closer look at them, and decided to take a photo:

This has obviously been a gradual process. The one to the left is the oldest die and is plated. The left die actually is that much darker on its 6th face. Since they are next to each other you can see it is just not a light reflection phenomena. The dark corner on the right dice IS the left die being reflected though.

As you may be aware of, the 6th face is opposite to the AG-face. I have kept my Elemental Dice in the aluminium stands, with the 6th face downwards, in contact with the aluminium. As you can see on the 3rd face, the stain/oxidization is triangular, being larger on the side that has been more down in the aluminium stand. And on the 2nd face, you can see kind of a line where the dice has touched the aluminium.

I feel quite confident that there is a reaction between Al and Ag, and that the silver dice (or silver in general) should not be in contact with Aluminium at all.
Not so sure about this any more, see separate post liked above.

Also, the little “holes” in the left (non-solid) die have turned yellowish. I don’t think is an optical phenomena because it has not happend (yet) to the solid silver dice, and there is nothing yellowish about Pt, Pa, Rh.

I am considering to paint my Aluminium stands with clear nail polish. Any other ideas?

Cleaning it!

There is a very simple way of removing the tarnish: link. It just requires sodium bicarbonate and some aluminium foil. The result is amazing, and it is fun do to chemistry in your own kitchen! Basically the Aluminium metal is sacrificed (oxidized) to restore the Silver atoms from Silver Oxide (and perhaps Silver Sulphide) to metal form.

Wishlist

There is a new set of Elemental Dice 4 with 10 new dice coming. The most missed ones after that would be:

  • Gallium – with a melting point of 29C it poses some practical problems, but including a mold for it would be cool
  • Uranium (depleted) – export restrictions and perhaps someone clever can turn U238 into Pu239

Camera HDR vs Graduated ND filter

Sometimes when I take photos I have a rather dark ground and a rather light sky. The consequence is that the sky gets overexposed and the ground underexposed. There are remedies. HDR means digitally improving the image, often after taking several images with different exposure times. A gradeduated ND filter is a physical camera filter that is half completely transparant, and half greyish.

I have a Sony RX100Va and I decided to compare the two methods. When using HDR this camera produces two images: the original unprocessed and the HDR-improved one. So the first two columns below are produced in one shot. The third column is a separate shot, with the filter attached to the camera.

If you open the images in a new window/tab you get higher resolution.

No HDR, No Graduated filterHDR, No Graduated filterNo HDR, Graduated filter ND8

There is obviously a difference, and in the end it depends on what you want. I find that the HDR-feature of my RX100Va camera is not as powerful as a Graduated ND8 filter. However the filter goes from light to darker, while HDR is obviously can do its job even if it is not an horizon in the image (for example if you photograph into a dark window but also want the exterior). If you look at the tree of the top-right GND image, it is very dark in the top. The HD-images have a bit more vivid green, I don’t know if that is an advantage.

To attach a filter to my RX100 I bought a MAGFILTER. So far I am very happy. The filter used above is a 52mm URTH Graduated ND8.

Note (to self if nothing else): In Swedish Graduated is translated into Graduerat or Halvtonat.