You probably think of aluminum as a solid metal, the kind of thing that could protect you from explosions. That's not always the case—as the magnificent mad scientists at Periodic Videos are here to show us with supernova-style flame balls made from powdered aluminum.
If you love mad science, you are about to be ecstatic. In these amazing historic images of laboratories — many over a century old — you can see the crazy, brilliant scientific instruments of another age.
If you don't work inside one, you might expect laboratory work to be humdrum. But throughout history, some spectacular scenes have occurred in labs across the world. LIFE brings us a gallery of these moments-from the impressive to the strange.
Science lab night-time routine goes like this: the experiment concludes, equipment winds slowly down. You rub bleary eyes, stretch your stiff neck, hit "save" on the data for analysis tomorrow. Then you deal with the forest of coffee mugs, flick the light switch and bumble out of the door. But the lab's still there:…