In high school, we all had to learn a lot to get a good idea about what’s on the periodic table.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking at something more ordinary like carbon, iron or calcium or something more obscure like antimony or krypton – let’s say. The important part is: How well do are you aware of their functions? Could you name at least one practical application for americium or ruthenium, for example?
You don’t have to worry about this anymore because recently Keith Enevoldsen has published an amazing periodic table that gives you at least one (or sometimes more) practical example(s) for every single element (except for those really heavy elements don’t really exists in nature).
Thulium is used for laser eye surgery, krypton is often used for any kinds of flashlights and cerium is used for lighter flints. In this time of the year there are a lot of fireworks – and strontium takes care for all of them. Xenon is used for really high intensity lamps that can be usually found in lighthouses.
Americium? Americium can save lives. It is used in smoke detectors. It is produced by bombarding plutonium with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. In this form, it can be radioactive, but tiny amounts of americium dioxide that are used in smoke detectors actually produces alpha radiation to make the fire stop – and this will result with zero radiation to every single one that is living nearby.
This is a glimpse of how the periodic table looks, but if you want to experience it the real way, you should click here and check it out.
Also, here you can download a PDF file if you need to prepare for a class presentation or just maybe you would like to be great example to the people around you and just put in on your bathroom door.
If you realized it’s been a while since you were studying about stuff like this, check out this song here. It will make you refresh your memories, and it’s fun!