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Periodic table of elements questions

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I got this idea from my dad on a walk, we were talking about future articles so I would be prepared. I’m going to be learning about the periodic table of elements in Science class this semester. So, I figured I’d start reviewing the chart now.  Some of it makes sense: C for Carbon, H for Hydrogen, O for oxygen, but why Pb for lead?  Isn’t that odd? I decided to research where the names came from and who named them.

I’m going to start off with lead. The atomic symbol for lead is Pb, I don’t know why, but I will know soon. My dad told me that he remembered Pb as lead by remembering “Pencil Biter” which I thought was really clever because he told me that back then the pencils were made of lead and people used to bite lead pencils so there’s kind of a connection. The person who made the name up is Dmitri Mendeleev. I also looked up the origin of the name, the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for metal, ‘lead’.

The next element I will be talking about is Hg “Mercury”. I found some cool facts about Mercury. Mercury is a liquid metal which I never knew that existed. Did you know that Mercury is in thermometers? My dad said if you touch Mercury it will seep into your hands and will actually poison you. I don’t want that to happen to anyone, especially me. Also the name Mercury comes from the Roman god Mercury, known for his swiftness. Another fact is Mercury was found in Egyptian tombs. The date it was founded was 1500 BC.  I wonder why the Egyptians put mercury in their tombs? Thermometers hadn’t been invented yet so maybe playing with it made them die so young. 

The element that is most confusing for me is Ag, which is Silver. Why not just name it S for Silver like O is Oxygen? Well maybe because sulfur already stole it. Anyways, nobody really knows who founded Silver but what I do know is Silver was founded during the Bronze age. You would think that Silver can be liquid like Mercury but no silver totally solid. There is also electricity in Silver too.

So, what’s up with potassium being K? Here’s what I found. Potassium was named after a cooking utensil, named by Humphry Davy. He kind of sounds like Humpty Dumpty, so I think he is maybe French or Italian. I wonder if the people who founded these things became rich and famous back then. Because now we don’t really talk about the people who named the elements, we just talk about the element itself. I also wonder if the people who found whatever they found were meaning to find whatever they found, like if it was an accident that they found it?

If I found an element I would figure out how to make it, then sell for a billion dollars and make it an original. Of course it already is a original because I would have found the only one in the world.


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Periodic table of elements questions