This Interactive Periodic Table Reveals How We Use All Those Elements

Most of us know the basics of chemistry and the periodic table of elements. We know that we breathe oxygen and pump balloons with helium. But what about the rest of the elements? Here are some interesting questions that we will answer later with the help of this interactive periodic chart.

  • Why is a five cent coin called a nickel?
  • Why you wouldn’t be able to read this article if it wasn’t for gallium?
  • Why you wouldn’t be able to make a photocopy without dandruff in your hair if it wasn’t for selenium?
  • How would you get buff, fertilize your plants, and actually exist without nitrogen?
  • Why you can’t build a house or a computer without sand?

Let’s take a look at the answers.

Why Is A Nickel Called A Nickel?

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The first nickel wasn’t called a nickel but a half dime. It was originally produced from silver. The five cent coin we know today appeared in 1866. These coins were called Shield Nickels and were 75% copper and 25% nickel. Thus the name nickel.

Why You Wouldn’t Be Able To Read This Article If It Wasn’t For Gallium?

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Because your phone and computer screens can’t be manufactured without it.

Gallium arsenide has a similar structure to silicon and is used as a substitute for silicon in the electronic industry. It is used in red LED’s because it has the ability to convert light to electricity. Solar panels on the Mars Exploration Rover contained gallium arsenide.

Gallium nitride is a semiconductor also. It has important uses in Blu-ray technology, mobile phones, and blue and green LEDs.

Why You Wouldn’t Be Able To Make A Photocopy Without Dandruff In Your Hair If It Wasn’t For Selenium?

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Selenium is mostly used as an additive to glass. Since it has the ability to convert light into electricity, making a photocopier or a solar panel would be impossible without it. It is also used in anti-dandruff shampoo as it is toxic to the scalp fungi that creates dandruff.

How Would You Get Buff, Fertilize Your Plants, And Actually Exist Without Nitrogen?

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Answer: you wouldn’t.

Nitrogen is used to make fertilizers and explosives. It is also used as a way to preserve food as it provides a unreactive atmosphere so bacteria can’t develop. It is a component of protein and DNA so it is an element crucial for the existence of any living being on earth.

Why You Can’t Build A House Or A Computer Without Sand?

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Silicon is one of the most useful elements to mankind. It is used for the production of glass, clay, bricks and even cosmetic products. It is also the base ingredient for semiconductor manufacturing. Simply put, your CPU is made from sand.

Image via Wlonk

Even if you know all this information there is no reason why you shouldn’t check out this interactive periodic table that Keith Enevoldsen created. Everything is beautifully illustrated to aid you in memorizing all sorts of interesting facts about the elements.

Featured Image via screenshot from Wlonk