Monday, August 26, 2013

Countdown to Opening Night by the Elements: Number 36

If it’s Monday, we must be down to element number 36 in Fearless’ relentless walk through the rows of the periodic table and its relationship to the Washington Capitals.


Krypton has an important part in American culture.  It is, as most folks know, the fictional planet that is the native world of Superman.  It also had the unfortunate circumstance to have been destroyed.

“Krypton,” the element, has a far less romantic history.  It was discovered just before the dawn of the 20th century when two chemists – Sir William Ramsey and Morris Travers – evaporated liquid air.  The residue left behind included the newly discovered element Krypton.

Krypton is one of a class of elements referred to as “noble gases.”  Because of their physical properties, such elements are odorless, colorless, and have low reactivity with other elements.  Even the name “Krypton” suggests an element that is apart and secreted from other elements.  The name derives from the Greek word “kryptos,” which means “hidden.”

That is not to say that Krypton is entirely incapable of bonding with other elements.  There have been instances of the synthesis of compounds that include Flourine, Barium, Oxygen, among others.  And, Krypton does have uses that suggest a more flashy character.  Krypton-based bulbs can be used in photography to serve as an intense source of white light.  It can be used in energy-saving fluorescent lamps.  Its higher light power density than neon make it a suitable element for laser shows, expressing itself in the color red.

Here we have an element with a hook in popular culture, but that is a bit less interesting in the real world.  It exists as a gas and has little to do with its fellow elements, although it can show flashes of brilliance in certain applications.  What does that sound like?  Maybe a player who is a lot more sizzle than steak so far, who has been hidden away, who has not (yet) been inclined to play with others (at least in Washington), who has a bit of “flash” to his play and demeanor on the ice.  A player who has offered a lot of gas about where and when he might or might not play in his future.

Krypton… the “Evgeny Kuznetsov” of elements.

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