96% of people can't answer these Periodic Table questions correctly. Can you?



By: Narra Jackson

4 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The periodic table has gone through many updates since it was first created. It shows the simple building blocks of our universe. Test your skills and see how well you can recognize these elements!

What year was the Periodic Table invented?

The Periodic Table was invented by a Russian chemist by the name of Dimitri Mendeleev in 1869.


How was Dimitri Mendeleev arranging the elements?

Dimitri Mendeleev began to arrange the chemical elements by their atomic mass. He also predicted the discovery of other elements, and left open spaces in his periodic table for them.


Who discovered Beryllium?

Beryllium was discovered by none other than Nicholas Louis Vauquelin way back in the day, in 1797.


Who was the first person to ever discover a new element?

The first person in history to discover a new element was Hennig Brand, a bankrupt German merchant. His experiments began with distilling human urine which resulted in a glowing white substance.


How is an element defined?

An element in its most basic definition is that it is chemically the simplest substance and therefore cannot be broken down using chemical methods.


When was the newest element discovered?

In 2013, Swedish scientists confirmed the existence of ununpentium which was a Russian discovery.


How was ununpentium discovered?

As it was described, ununpentium was produced by "shooting a beam of calcium, which has 20 protons, into a thin film of americium, which has 95 protons." The elements lasted less than a second, and was a new elements for that half second at 115 protons.


What was Iridium named after?

Iridium was discovered in 1803 by Smithson Tennant. The origin of the name is derived from the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Her name was Iris.


What was Polonium named after?

Polonium is named after Poland, the native country of Marie Curie, who is the person who first isolated the element in 1898.


What is Bohrium used for?

Bohrium is a highly radioactive metal and so at present it is used in research only. Bohrium has no known biological role, and does not occur naturally.


Weird thing about Radon?

Radon is a colorless and odorless gas. It is chemically inert, but also radioactive. The name is derived from Radium, as it was first detected as an emission from radium during radioactive decay.


Which element is known as liquid silver?

Mercury, also called quicksilver is named after the Greek word hydrargyrum which means watery or liquid silver. Mercury is one of the few elements that is liquid at room temperature.


Which element is the eighth most abundant in the earth's crust?

Magnesium is in fact the eighth most abundant element in the earth's crust. However, it is not found in nature in its elemental form. It is a Group 2 element which means it is an alkaline earth metal.


Which element is present in the air about 1 part per million?

Krypton is present in the air we breath, about 1 part per million. The atmosphere of Mars also contains a little bit of krypton. It is characterized by its brilliant green and orange spectral lines. Normally, though, krypton is colorless, odorless, and a fairly expensive gas.


Which element is named after physicist Marie Curie?

Curium is named after this popular physicist Marie Curie. It is created by bombarding plutonium with helium ions. It is so radioactive it glows in the dark. Curium is produced in very small amounts each year and was used on a Mars mission as an alpha particle source for the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer.


Which element can spontaneously ignite in air?

Strontium is an elemental metal that can in fact spontaneously ignite in air. It is softer than calcium and decomposes in water very quickly. Freshly cut strontium has a silvery appearance, but rapidly turns a yellowish color with the formation of the oxide.


Which element did Georges Urbain discover?

In 1907 Georges Urbain was credited with the discovery of this element and won the right to name it. He originally called it lutecium which was later changed to the spelling of lutetium by chemists. Lutetium is primarily obtained through an ion exchange process from monazite sand, a material rich in rare earth elements.


Which element should you never mix with ammonia?

We all already know not to mix chlorine and ammonia, right? Hopefully! Besides that chlorine is in many everyday products. Besides cleansing drinking water worldwide, it is used in the production of paper products, dyes, textiles, petroleum products, medicines, antiseptics, insecticides, food, solvents, paints, plastics, and many other products.


Which element has electrical conductivity about 60% of what copper has?

We all know about aluminum because it is so widely used in our consumer products. Although aluminums electrical conductivity is only 60% of coppers, it is used in electrical transmission lines because it is so lightweight. Pure aluminum is soft and lacks strength, but allowed with small amounts of copper, magnesium, silicon, manganese, or other elements impart a variety of useful properties.


Element used by the chemical industry where corrosive agents are used?

Zirconium is the elements used when chemical companies are employing corrosive agents at their facilities. Zirconium oxide has a high index refraction and is used as a gem material. Most of the zirconium produced is in fact used as refractory material.


When was nitrogen discovered?

Nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford in the year 1772. Its name is derived from the Greek word 'nitron' and 'genes' meaning nitre forming. It was originally manufactured in Egypt by heating a mixture of dung, salt, and urine.


When was neon discovered?

In 1898, Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers discovered neon. They were at the University College London and they isolated krypton gas by evaporating liquid argon. Ramsay named the new gas neon, basing it on news, the Greek word for new.


What year was lithium discovered?

The first lithium mineral petalite was discovered on the Swedish island of Uto by the Brazilian Joze Bonifacio de Andralda e Silva in the 1790s. It was observed to give an intense crimson flare when thrown into a fire. In 1817, Johan Auguat Arfvedson of Stockholm analyzed it and deduced it contained a previously unknown metal, which he called lithium.


When do people best guess silver was discovered?

No one really knows when silver was discovered as it dates before there was proper documentation of these things. The best guess by historians and chemists is that it was discovered approximately 3000 BC. The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon name, 'siolfur'


How did scientists determine the elements individual weights?

To determine each elements weight, scientist had to pass currents through various solutions to break them up into their constituent atoms. Just like a battery's polarity, the atoms of one element would go one way while the atoms of another would go the other way. They would then collect each group of atoms in separate containers and weigh them.


What card game inspired the organization of elements?

The creator of the periodic table Mendeleyev was quite fond of the game solitaire, so he organized the elements as such. He wrote the weight for each element on a separate index card and sorted them like in solitaire. Elements with similar properties formed a "suit" that he placed in colluded order by ascending atomic weight.


An element that Mendeleyev correctly predicted as far as weight and chemical behavior prior to its discovery?

Mendeleyev correctly guessed a couple of the elements weights and chemical behaviors prior to their discovery. Gallium, scandium, and germanium were three that he correctly predicted.


An element that Mendeleyev denied its existence?

There were actually a number of elements who's existence Mendeleyev denied. When argon was discovered in 1894, it didn't fit with his model of columns so he just denied its existence. He did this with helium, neon, krypton, xenon, and radon also.


Characteristic of Noble gases?

The thing that Noble gases all have in common, which are the gases on the far right of the periodic table, is that they all have closed shells of electrons. This is why they are mostly inert.


What makes Carbon a key molecule for life?

A key about carbon atoms is that they bond in very long chains and create things like... sugars. The chemical flexibility of carbon is what makes it the key molecule of life.


What number is considered an impossible number of protons for an element to have?

Physicist Richard Feynman once predicted that number 137 defined the table's outer limit. He says adding more protons would produce energy that could be quantified only by an imaginary number, rendering element 138 and higher impossible... for now.


Which group of elements bond well?

The Group 4 elements in the middle bond readily with each other and themselves. Silicon + silicon + silicon ad infinitum links up into crystalline lattices, used to make semiconductors for computers.


At what number do atoms not exist naturally?

Atoms with atomic numbers higher than 92 do not exist naturally, but they can be created by bombarding elements with other elements or pieces of them.


Fun periodic table fact

Take the modern periodic table, cut out the complicated middle columns, and fold it once along the middle of the Group 4 elements. The groups that kiss have complementary electron structures and will combine with each other.


What was a wrong assumption on Mendeleyev's part?

Indeed Mendeleyev, among other misassumptions, assumed that all elements are unchanging. In fact, we know now that this is definitely not true. Radioactive atoms have unstable nuclei, meaning they can move around the chart. For example, uranium gradually decays a whole series of lighter elements, ending with lead.


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