The secret of the 'undying Russian' who can pass his hand through molten metal
A steel worker becomes an unlikely viral star for his ability to touch molten metal.
For all its flaws, the Internet can be a source of wondrous things and one such curiosity has been a resurfacing video of a man passing his hand through molten metal without getting hurt. Some have dubbed him “the undying Russian" for the nonchalant way he seems to be interacting with a flow of steel that's around 1370 degrees C (2500°F). Is the man some sort of magician or a yogi or can science explain this phenomenon?
Of course, science can. The man, who is actually not Russian, but an Armenian steel worker named Arkady Mgdsyan, is enjoying the benefits of the so-called Leidenfrost effect.
Mgdsyan learned of this effect from his co-workers, who have almost all pulled off this feat, their steel mill's tradition. The trick is kind of a professional rite of passage.
Check out the full video here:
Mgdsyan was quite apprehensive about trying to stick his hand in molten metal, even after watching others do it. In an interview, he explained the way to achieve this effect (although this is truly a “don't try this at home" situation) -
"If you water your hand properly prior to touching the molten mass, the steam will protect your skin from being scorched for a brief moment," he elaborated.
Indeed, the Leidenfrost effect phenomenon occurs when water touches a molten surface, with a much higher boiling point. At that moment, an insulating layer of steam is generated. This vapor layer, like a repulsive force, keeps that liquid from boiling too rapidly. So you can stick your wet hand in an out, like Mgdsyan.
There's a fun segment from Mythbusters just about this phenomenon. See what happens as they stick fingers into the molten lead:
And here's another explanation of the Leidenfrost effect that's worth checking out:
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- Generational differences always pose a challenge for companies.
- How do you integrate the norms and expectations of the new generation with those of the old?
- Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt points out that Gen Z—the cohort born after 1995—differs sharply from the Millennial generation before it and offers some advice for understanding and working with a generation in some ways more sheltered and less independent than any before it.
A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.
- There's a crisis in the workplace. According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, 70% of people are disengaged at work. And a whopping 18% are actively repulsed by what they do for a living.
- This is clearly no good for the workers themselves. But it's also no good for the companies they serve.
- What makes us happy is fairly well understood, as is the fact that happy workers work harder, make fewer mistakes, and invest creative energy in making companies successful.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.