Task of the Day: Learning to do things like a mad scientist. As a specific example: How do I get some of this Big-Chunk-O-Metal to stick onto a flat sample surface?, I asked myself. Well, you just heat the bejeezus out of it. And I do mean the bejeezus. Skin-blisteringly hot isn’t nearly good enough. You heat it up until the metal evaporates (yes, you can get something like iron to evaporate; yes, seeing metal boil is as awesome as it sounds), stick your sample somewhere close, and voila! The gaseous metal atoms stick to your surface and resolidify since it’s cold.
Unfortunate side effect: everything else in the immediate vicinity gets coated in a fine film of, say, aluminum.
And just for kicks: boiling steel