1 Apr 2019

Boron - made by cosmic rays, useful in the kitchen

From Elemental, 8:00 am on 1 April 2019

Boron is made by cosmic rays and supernovae.

It is vital for life - and ovenproof cookware.

Boron is also the basis of the world’s strongest acid, created by Kiwi scientist Chris Reed, according to Professor Allan Blackman from AUT.

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Photo: RNZ

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Boron is atomic number 5, has the symbol B, and is a metalloid that is found in lots of minerals.

It is used as boron nitride and boron carbide in drill tips, which are nearly as hard as diamonds.

The Elemental podcast is celebrating 150 years since the periodic table was first published by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.

We are exploring the periodic table alphabetically and so far we have looked at all the As: actinium, aluminium, americium, antimony, argon, arsenic and astatine.

We are making inroads into the Bs with barium, berkelium and the heavyweights, beryllium and bismuth.

Find out more about events during the United Nation’s International Year of the Periodic Table.

Nights with Bryan Crump is also celebrating the chemical elements during their Friday night Sonic Tonic and Element of the Week.

Professor Allan Blackman is at Auckland University of Technology.