A fun periodic table now allows you to understand how each of the elements is used. How better to give yourself a quick refresher?
The periodic table of the elements has since 1869 represented all of the chemical elements present in our world, ranked by increasing atomic numbers. They are organised in terms of their electron configuration, which underlies their chemical properties. Thanks to secondary school science classes, we all have a fair idea of what can be found on the periodic table. But whether it’s to do with common elements such as calcium, iron and carbon, or more obscure ones such as krypton and antimony, do you known what their functions are? Or could you name a practical application for vanadium or ruthenium?
Not to worry. Keith Enevoldsen, of elements.wlonk.com, has created an colourful and fun periodic table for us, providing at least one example of the uses of each element. Among which you will find the best known ones: hydrogen, found in stars, or oxygen, which you are currently breathing in. But there is also thulium, for example, used in laser eye surgery, cerium for lighter flints, or krypton for pocket torches. You will also find strontium in fireworks, or xenon in headlamps. And americium? We use it in smoke detectors. Discovered in 1945 during the Manhattan Project, americium is produced by bombarding plutonium with neutrons in a nuclear reactor.
We also discover that rubidium is used in the most precise GPS systems in the world, that niobium can magnetically levitate trains, that you will find scandium in the frame of your racing bike, rhenium in rockets or radon in surgical implants. We have included a photo of the table below. Don’t hesitate to click here to see the interactive chart in full.