At TQC, every so often we switch gears, take a reprieve from the hot button topics that are typically the subjects of our posts, and replace them with something fun. With that in mind, for this week we have decided to offer our readers a chance to take a break and play TQC Trivia! The Periodic Table. Answers are provided below, along with interesting and fun supplemental information.
1) How many elements are on the periodic table?
2) What was the first element discovered on the modern periodic table?
A) Oganesson (Og)
B) Hydrogen (H)
C) Cesium (Cs)
D) Molybdenum (Mo)
3) What is the most abundant element on planet Earth?
A) Oxygen (O)
B) Helium (He)
C) Potassium (K)
D) Hydrogen (H)
4) What is the rarest stable metal on the periodic table?
A) Uranium (U)
B) Astatine (At)
C) Francium (Fr)
D) Tantalum (Ta)
5) Which element is considered a “rare earth” metal?
A) Neodymium (Nd)
B) Gold (Au)
C) Silver (Ag)
D) Copper (Cu)
6) What is the most radioactive element?
A) Uranium (U)
B) Technetium (Tc)
C) Helium (He)
D) Polonium (Po)
7) What is the most unstable element?
A) Francium (Fr)
B) Neon (Ne)
C) Argon (Ar)
D) Radon (Rn)
8) What is the most conductive element?
A) Silver (Ag)
B) Copper (Cu)
C) Gold (Au)
D) Lead (Pb)
9) What element has the highest boiling point?
A) Helium (He)
B) Tungsten (W)
C) Scandium (Sc)
D) Palladium (Pd)
10) What is the heaviest element?
A) Gold (Au)
B) Praseodymium (Pr)
C) Germanium (Ge)
D) Oganesson (Og)
1) (C) 118. Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907) is credited with organizing elements into a periodic table. Back then 63 elements existed. Today the periodic table consists of 118 elements including four “super heavy” elements discovered after 2000. The modern periodic table is organized by atomic number – or the number of protons each contains - and grouped in vertical columns by elements with similar properties. A rudimentary breakdown is between metals and nonmetals (gasses). Metals are further grouped into alkali, alkali earth, transition, and so forth. Gasses are known as inert (18 of them) or other non-metallic, such as oxygen and nitrogen. Three elements: Bromine, Cesium, and Mercury, are liquid at room temperature.
2) (B) Hydrogen. Hydrogen was identified by a British scientist named Henry Cavendish in 1766. Cavendish called this Hydrogen “inflammable air.” French chemist Antoine Lavoisier renamed it hydrogen. Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the universe. It is used in numerous applications including rocket fuel and welding. Cesium was discovered in 1860. It is one of just three metals that is liquid at room temperature. Moly (the element;) was discovered in the late 1700s; it is used to reinforce steel. Oganesson was the last element added to the periodic table (2016).
3) (A)Oxygen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Oxygen is the most abundant element on Earth.
4) (D) Tantalum. Francium is the rarest metal on earth, but it is extremely unstable, with a half-life of just ~20 minutes and no practical applications. Tantalum is rare, stable, and useful. It is used to fortify and increase the melting points of various alloys, in nuclear reactors, aircraft, and various surgical appliances. Tantalum was discovered in 1802. Astatine is derived from other elements radioactively decaying, it does not exist in pure form. Uranium’s primary use is a fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. Other uses include atomic weapons, medical applications, and research. Almost ½ of the world’s supply of Uranium comes from the former Soviet state of Kazakhstan.
5) (A)Neodymium. Neodymium and Praseodymium, commonly called “NdPr,” are two of the most prominent rare earth metals or “rare earths.”. The price of NdPr is used as a global benchmark. Rare earths are important components for electric vehicles, military, space gear and many other applications. The irony about rare earths is that they are not rare at all. However, the jurisdictions in which they are plentiful, China and Russia, have contentious relationships with the U.S. and could exert leverage over America by restricting the export of these important minerals. Copper is a base metal. Gold is a precious metal. Silver has both precious and industrial uses.
6) (D) Polonium. Polonium is so radioactive that it glows blue. It is used primarily in thermoelectric power generation on satellites and to help brush away dust from photographic film. It is very rare, much less common than Uranium. Technetium was the first element to be artificially produced. It is the lightest radioactive element. Helium is not radioactive. Generally, heavier elements tend to be more radioactive than lighter ones. To learn why, click here.
7) (A) Francium. Francium has a half-life of just ~20 minutes after which it decays into other elements such as Radium and Radon, the heaviest known gas. Neon (think neon lights) is used in advertising signs.
8) (A) Silver. Copper ranks second, and Gold third. Lead ranks near the bottom of the pack. Because of its high conductivity and anti-corrosive purposes, copper is used in a wide range of applications ranging from wiring, plumbing, piping, construction, machinery, coins, cables, computers, autos, generators, building materials, etc. While silver is even more conductive than copper, it is far more expensive and less abundant.
9) (B)Tungsten. Tungsten melts at 6,192 degrees Fahrenheit and boils at 10,030 degrees. Because it can withstand extremely high temperatures, Tungsten is used as filaments in incandescent bulbs which can reach 4,500 degrees, furnaces, and rocket nozzles. Palladium is a key component in catalyst converters which help reduce emissions from automobiles. Other uses include jewelry and dentistry. Scandium helps strengthen Aluminum. Helium has the lowest boiling point.
10) (D) Oganesson. In addition to being the heaviest element, Oganesson is also the newest element named in 2016. It is still being studied. Germanium was discovered in 1886. It is a very important semiconductor material widely used in electronic devices. China produces ~60% of the worlds germanium. As noted above Praseodymium is a rare earth metal. Gold is a precious metal. Almost half of the world’s gold is used in jewelry, with gold bars making up most of the balance. A small amount of gold is used in coins and electronics.