Expert of the Week: Dr Chris Stanley

Dr Chris Stanley is a mineralogist of London’s Natural History Museum and, presumably, he doesn’t really want to work there anymore.

Take this story with the eye-catching headline:

‘Kryptonite’ discoverd in mine

Wow! The article starts by summing things up:

A new mineral matching its unique chemistry – as described in the film Superman Returns – has been identified in a mine in Serbia.

Let me draw your attention to the phrase “matching its unique chemistry”. The expert goes on to say:

Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral’s chemical formula – sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide – and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns.

Amazing! He continues:

The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite.

Hang on. This mineral ‘matches the unique chemistry’ of movie kryptonite except it “does not contain fluorine”. Doesn’t the fact that the chemical fluorine is not present in this mineral mean that it does not match the unique chemistry?

So, close but no kryptonite for our expert of the week, Dr Chris Stanley of London’s Natural History Museum.

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