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10 Facts About The Periodic Table For National Periodic Table Of Elements Day

How many elements can you name? Do you know their atomic weight? Here are 10 facts you may not know about the periodic table of elements.

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1. Thallium (TI) is considered the deadliest element.

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Thallium pretends to be potassium to gain entry into our cells where it then breaks amino acid bonds within proteins. But don't worry. We're using our mad chemistry skills for good, not evil. We're looking at you, Walter White!

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2. You can find Phosphorus (P) in everyday items. Like on the red tip of a match which ignites a spark.

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Phosphorus was discovered by accident in 1669 by Hennig Brand. He was processing 60 buckets of urine in search of a compound that would turn ordinary metals into gold. Now that's a REAL commitment to science.

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3. Technetium (Tc) was the first element to be made artificially.

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Several scientists "discovered" element 43—naming it things like "davyium" and "nipponium"—only to have their discoveries debunked. Element 43 wasn't truly discovered until the 1930s when it was made in a cyclotron.

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4. Magnesium (Mg) fires require sand to extinguish.

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Have a Magnesium fire on your hands? This little helper is on the case!

5. Arsenic (As) smells like garlic when it's heated.

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But unlike garlic, Arsenic does NOT make a good cooking ingredient. And it definitely doesn't have the same health benefits.

6. Mercury (Hg) and Bromine (Br) are liquid at room temperature.

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The symbol for Mercury, Hg, comes from its Greek name hydrargyrum which means "liquid silver" to reflect its shiny surface.

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7. Francium (Fr) is the rarest element on earth.

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That's right, Francium is WAY more rare than that four-leaf clover you found when you were a kid. It occurs naturally in uranium minerals, but the Earth’s crust probably contains less than 1 ounce at any time.

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8. Boron (B) burns green. Potassium (K) burns a lilac-toned purple.

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That makes these two elements pretty special! Want another fun fact about Boron? It's an essential nutrient plants need to grow.

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9. Gallium (Ga) will melt in the palm of your hand.

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Gallium looks like aluminum, but it melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Kinda like your beloved ice cream on a hot summer day.

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10. Who knew chemistry could be so fun?

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Um, you did! Why else would you be reading this?

Want to learn even more? Check out this cool project done by the National Labs about Mining Uranium from Seawater.

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