So much for Caesium

So much for Caesium

I had the day off from my work as quality control at the Powser’s pickle factory and decided to take a time-travel trip. I chose to go to the afternoon of May 13th, 1861, and to Dürkheim, Germany, the University of Heidelberg, room zwölf, the laboratories of Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Wilhelm Bunsen.

Kirchoff and Bunsen were looking through their duel eye-piece spectroscope. They spoke in high animated tones. Kirchoff was waving his arms, Bunsen was grabbing clumps of his own hair. I cleared my throat and they looked over at me. I had my phone set to Google German translate. (My time machine has time/space wi-fi.) I opened a bottle of champagne and said, “Congratulations on discovering the element Caesium!” Kirchoff and Bunsen shook my hands, drank directly from the bottle, and sang the popular ditty, Darn, I Love Your Knitted Ways.

I told them I was from the future, and their discovery will make a difference because caesium is the basis of the world clock. The clock keeps time by blasting a caesium atom with energy, which reacts with pulses of light 9 billion times a second, thus keeping time accurate and safe for everyone. Kirchoff, the moodier of the two, said “That’s it? It’s a fancy watch?” and poured the caesium down the drain, flushing it with water. Cesium reacts explosively with cold water, so the sink exploded and the laboratory caught fire. The three of us barely got out in time.

I wished them the best and came back to my usual time and space. I was tired, so I took a nap.

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