How Lithium Metal Burns in Nitrogen and Devours Glass

Molten lithium is so reactive it breaks the bond between silicon and oxygen in glass and forms lithium oxide. This reaction is exothermic, and is self-sustaining until the glass crumbles.


Just learned that Castle Bravo involved burning lithium in another way:

We also can’t bring up ^6\tt{Li} without mentioning the United States’ Castle Bravo thermo-nuke test in the early 1950s that was a much larger bang than expected – a 15MT explosion versus the predicted 6MT – due to the Americans thinking the abundant ^7\tt{Li} isotope in the fuel fusion would be inert. Reader, it was not, it had a sufficient effect on the reaction, and fallout from the experiment was widespread and disastrous.

Now, Iran discovers a large lithium deposit: