A synthetic diamond wafer and an aluminum disk are held between a thumb and forefinger (to provide heat). When pressed against an ice cube, the diamond penetrates more rapidly than does the aluminum.
Butter is used to glue a piece of pasta to each disk. When the edges of the disks are immersed in hot water, the butter on the diamond melts more rapidly, releasing the piece of pasta.
Mercury(II) iodide is heated to convert it from its red low-temperature alpha form to its yellow high-temperature beta form.
A crystal of sodium chloride breaks cleanly when broken parallel to a cleavage plane, but shatters when the knife is placed at an angle to the cleavage plane.