In the build-up to the Christmas Lectures in 2012, the Royal Institution published a new video for every day of advent revealing the elements that really excite and inspire people. Internet technologist Ben Hammersley explores the powerful properties of the "really awesome" element, potassium. This soft metal is kept under oil to prevent it from reacting with the oxygen in the atmosphere. Ben demonstrates how potassium reacts with water to create potassium hydroxide and hydrogen. The reaction is so exothermic that the heat ignites the hydrogen and causes the explosion.
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