DR KARI LOUNATMAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KARI LOUNATMAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lead oxide crystals, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Lead is a heavy, soft, ductile metal that, under normal conditions, does not react with water. However, when it comes into contact with moist air, its reactivity with water increases. A small lead oxide (PbO) layer forms at the surface of the metal, seen here as leaf-like crystals. Magnification: x2085 when printed 10 centimetres tall.
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