Copper, you know the element? What is the most awesome, stunning, or bad ass fact you know about this wonderful element.
I don't need a huge paragraph, or a quotation from wikipedia. Just one fact to finish off a presentation on copper.
The Egyptians used copper tools on the blocks of the pyramids. Bronze wasn't discovered for another 1000 years (I think). There are interesting problems with this because copper is soft and each size of block (there are about 10) are all pretty much exactly the same. How in the world do you make 20-ton blocks all exactly the same size using tools that were soft.
Answer? The blocks were formed out a primitive concrete, not worked with copper tools.
Hope this helps. Best wishes with your presentation.
Another one: In a four book science fiction series (from the 1930's, written by E.E. Smith) called "The Skylark of Space," copper was used as the source of energy for the spaceship's power plant as well as for explosive bullets.
Copper is used in the manufacture of household wiring, and water pipes. It is VERY valuable as a SCRAP metal. So VALUABLE, that thieves are steal wiring and water pipes from peoples homes while they are on vacation.
Awesome is a pretty subjective term, but I like the fact that copper is really good for demonstrating Lenz's law. If you take a powerful magnet and drop it through a copper tube it wil take a long time to emerge through the bottom of the tube (versus a non magnet of the same size and shape), even though copper is not a metal that is normally attracted to a magnet. This is because the falling magnet induces the flow of electrons in the copper, which sets up a secondary magnetic field that opposes the first and acts as a break. (This is how magnetic bracking in roller coasters works). Also copper salts in the +2 oxidation state are a beautiful blue color. Copper is also a cofactor for many mixed function oxidase enzymes and for cytochrome c oxidase, required for cellular respiration. So without copper, your essentially dead.
Copper has anti-microbial properties and is starting to be used for things like hospital basins in Africa, where in the past bacterial contamination was a problem, the copper basins solved this and there are fewer cases of transmitted disease's where such basins are employed.
Come now! You want to stun your audience with a surprising and unknown fact about Cu: octopuses have copper-based blood known as hemocyanin that is blue in its oxygenated state. So much for blue blood!
The numerous species of molluscs (e.g., slugs, snails) and some crabs also have the same type of blood.