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My high-school chemistry teacher told us that elemental sodium is extremely volitile, that it will explode on contact with water.  (She also heated the classroom on cold days by lighting 30+ bunsen burners, and she good-naturedly answered the compulsory "Does it explode?" question before every demonstration.)

This guy decided that he hadn't been given sufficient proof of the sodium-water phenomenon.  (Great pictures, and video if you want it.)

He's also responsible for the Periodic Table Table:
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