Interesting Facts About Periodic Table

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  • There are 90 elements on the periodic table that occur in nature. All of the other elements are strictly man-made.
  • Technetium was the first element to be made artificially.
  • The table has served chemistry students since 1869, when it was created by Dmitry Mendeleyev, a cranky professor at the University of St. Petersburg.
  • With a publisher’s deadline looming, Mendeleyev didn’t have time to describe all 63 then-known elements. So he turned to a data set of atomic weights meticulously gathered by others.
  • Carbon is unique in that it is known to form up to 10 million different compounds. Carbon is important to the existence of life.
  • Francium is the rarest element on earth. There are probably no more than a few ounces of it on earth at any given time.
  • The country Argentina is named after the element silver (symbol Ag) which is argentum in Latin.
  • The International Union of Pure Applied Chemistry, IUPAC, revises the periodic table as new data becomes available. At the time of this writing, the most recent version of the periodic table was approved 19 February 2010.
  • Most of the elements on the periodic table are metals. The alkali metals, alkaline earths, basic metals, transition metals, lanthanides and actinides all are groups of metals.
  • Noble gases (far right on the periodic table) have closed shells of electrons, which is why they are nearly inert.

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