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YGK Elements

atomic symbol H, atomic number 1 Hydrogen
the first element on the periodic table and, by far, the most common element in the Universe. Hydrogen
In addition to the main isotope (also called protium), there are two other significant isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium (2H or D), which has one neutron, and tritium (3H or T), which has two neutrons. Hydrogen
It naturally exists as a diatomic gas (H2), which was discovered by British chemist Henry Cavendish. It is highly flammable when exposed to high temperatures or electric current; a notable example of this was the Hindenburg disaster. Hydrogen
It can react with nonmetals by losing an electron to form the H+ ion, or react with metals to form the hydride ion H–. Hydrogen
the lightest noble gas and the second most abundant element in the Universe (after hydrogen). Discovered by Sir William Ramsey, Pierre Janssen, and Norman Lockyer, it has two stable isotopes, He-3 and He-4, with He-4 by far the more common. Helium
Because of their different quantum properties (the He-3 nucleus is a fermion, while the He-4 nucleus is a boson), the isotopes of it actually have significantly different physical properties. Helium
Most He on Earth results from radioactive decay, since the He nucleus is equivalent to an alpha particle. Helium
It has the lowest boiling point of any element; it's liquid form is used for devices that need intense cooling, such as MRI machines. Helium
He-4 can exist in a zero-viscosity state known as superfluidity when its temperature drops below the lambda point. Helium
atomic symbol He, atomic number 2 Helium
by mass, the most common element in Earth’s crust. It was discovered independently by Carl Scheele and Joseph Priestley; Priestley originally called it “dephlogisticated air.” Oxygen
atomic symbol O, atomic number 8 Oxygen
Normally exists in elemental form as a diatomic gas (O2), but it can also exist in a triatomic form, ozone (O3), which is known for its role in blocking UV rays in Earth’s stratosphere. Oxygen
Diatomic O is paramagnetic, meaning it has unpaired electrons. This points out a problem with traditional valence bond theories, which predict that O should be diamagnetic; molecular orbital theory correctly explains this behavior. Oxygen
Because it is easily capable of accepting electrons, reactions in which a species gives up electrons are known as oxidation reactions. Oxygen
atomic symbol N, atomic number 7 Nitrogen
Most abundant element in Earth’s atmosphere. First isolated as “noxious air” by Daniel Rutherford, exists primarily as a diatomic molecule containing two triple-bonded atoms (N2). Nitrogen
Because the gaseous state is extremely stable, it is unusable for many biological and chemical purposes. To make it useful, it often undergoes fixation to convert it into usable species Nitrogen
Conversely, its stability makes it useful in preventing unwanted combustion reactions. It also has a relatively low boiling point (–196°C), which makes liquid nitrogen useful as a refrigerant. Nitrogen
It often undergoes fixation to convert it into usable species such as the ammonium ion (NH4+)—as it is by bacteria in the root nodules of legume plants—or ammonia gas (NH3), as is done industrially in the Haber-Bosch process. Nitrogen
one of just two elements that is a liquid at standard temperature and pressure (the only other one is bromine). It has been known since antiquity, and is found in ores such as cinnabar. Mercury
Older names for it, reflecting its liquid nature, include hydrargyrum (the source of its symbol) and quicksilver. Mercury
Atomic Symbol Hg, Atomic Number 80 Mercury
Because it is a very dense liquid, it is commonly used in barometers to measure atmospheric pressure; the pressure exerted by the atmosphere equals the pressure exerted by a column containing 760 millimeters of Hg Mercury
Alloys of Hg with other metals are called amalgams, some of which have been used as dental fillings. Chronic exposure to Hg can cause psychological problems; its use in hatmaking led to the expression “mad as a hatter.” Mercury
More recently, concerns about exposure have led to the banning of it in thermometers. Mercury
Atomic Symbol S, Atomic Number 16 Sulfur
Widely known in the ancient world, and is referred to in the Bible as brimstone. Its nature as an element was first recognized by Antoine Lavoisier. Sulfur
Its most stable allotrope is an eight-membered ring that exists as a yellow solid. It is most often isolated by injecting superheated steam into the ground in the Frasch process. Sulfur
As an element, it is used in the vulcanization process to cross-link the polymer strands of rubber to increase rubber’s strength; similarly, its double bonds hold many proteins together. Sulfur
Industrially, though, the majority of it is used to make sulfuric acid, H2SO4 (in fact, sulfuric acid is the most widely produced chemical in the chemical industry). Sulfur
Compounds of this element are noted for their strong and unpleasant odors; small quantities of hydrogen sulfide, H2S, are frequently added to natural gas, which is normally odorless, to help detect gas leaks Sulfur
Atomic Symbol Fe, Atomic Number 26 Iron
most common metal in the Earth, and one of the major components of the core as well. Iron was known to the ancients; its atomic symbol Fe comes from the Latin name ferrum. Iron
The namesake of ferromagnetism; one of its ores is magnetite, Fe3O4, which contains iron in both of its most common oxidation states, 2+ and 3+. Iron
Iron (II) sulfide, FeS2, is formally known as pyrite, but because of its appearance has long been known as fool’s gold. Iron
It can react with oxygen in the air to form iron(III) oxide, Fe2O3, in a relatively slow but exothermic process; this process is used in “all-day” heat patches. Iron
Hydrated Fe (III) oxide is better known as rust; rust only forms when iron is exposed to both oxygen and water. Its isotope 56 is “doubly magic” in that its nucleus has 28 protons and 28 neutrons; 28 is a magic number that carries special stability. Iron
As a result, FE-56 is one of the most stable of all nuclei, and it is the heaviest nucleus that is normally produced during stellar nucleosynthesis. The largest use of it is in steel. Iron
Atomic Symbol C, Atomic Number 6 Carbon
Found, by definition, in all organic compounds. It is the 4th most abundant element in the Universe. Has 3 major isotopes: isotope 12, stable; isotope 13, which is used in NMR spectroscopy; isotope 14, which is radioactive and is the basis of dating. Carbon
Its ability to form 4 chemical bonds means that it has many different allotropes. The best-characterized natural isotopes are diamond, which consists of a tetrahedral network of atoms, & graphite, which consists of planes of atoms arranged in hexagons. Carbon
Fullerenes such as buckyballs and carbon nanotubes, on the other hand, are generally produced synthetically; buckyballs are roughly spherical. Carbon
More recently, graphene, which is a single layer of atoms shaped like graphite, has proven to have remarkable properties; for example, it is nearly transparent while being about 200 times stronger than an equivalent mass of steel. Carbon
Atomic Symbol Al, Atomic Number 13 Aluminum
Most common metal in Earth’s crust; the first metal in the p block of elements. First isolated by Hans Christian Oersted, Aluminum
Because it exists only in a +3 oxidation state, it takes three moles of electrons to produce one mole of aluminum; as a result, it has been estimated that 5% of all electricity in the U.S. goes to purifying Al. Aluminum
Its primary ore is bauxite, from which it is refined using large amounts of electric current, via electrolysis, through the Bayer & Hall-Héroult processes. Aluminum
It is found in the mineral corundum, which is found in many gems, including sapphires and rubies; the specific impurities found in a gem determine its color. It is also found in aluminosilicates such as feldspar. Aluminum
Atomic Symbol Au, Atomic Number 79 Gold
known to the ancients as a relatively inert metal. Its atomic symbol Au comes from its Latin name, aurum. Gold
It is resistant to attack by most acids, but it (along with platinum) will dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of concentrated nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. Gold
Among all metals, it has the highest electronegativity and electron affinity; it occasionally is found in a –1 oxidation state as Au–. Widely used in jewelry, it also has a number of scientific uses. Gold
Ernest Rutherford’s foil experiment demonstrated the existence of a positively charged nucleus. Gold
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) often requires that specimens be “sputtered,” or thinly coated, with its' atoms to allow imaging. Gold
Suspensions of its' compounds have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Gold
Created by: Mr_Morman