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Questions tagged [elements]

A pure chemical substance consisting of a unique type of atom with a distinguished by its atomic mass.

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1answer
64 views

The “nose” of the periodic table [on hold]

My teacher said that on the periodic table there is a "nose" formed by Al, Zn, Ag, and Cd. She said that they are all fixed charged (+3, +2, +1, and +2 respectively), and said that if I write them in ...
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How to Determine An Element's Colour

Different elements have different colours. Some elements may have similar colours like Sodium (Na) and Potassium (K), so that's why i'm asking "is there a way to calculate or even simply deduce the ...
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1answer
95 views

Crystal structures of heaviest nuclides' compounds

What is the heaviest element of the periodic table for which there is a compound whose crystal structure has been completely resolved by X-ray diffraction?
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Electronegativity (Oxygen and Phosphorus)

What makes an element electronegative. I understand, for example, $\ce{P(OR)3}$ is less basic than $\ce{PR3}$ because the oxygen in $\ce{P(OR)3}$ is more electronegative than P, so it pulls electron ...
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Why are potassium organic salts ever preferable to the sodium equivalents?

$\ce{KOH}$, $\ce{KCN}$, $\ce{KNO3}$, $\ce{K2CO3}$, and plenty of other potassium salts are frequently used in industry. But, as far as I can see, the sodium equivalents are also widely used, often ...
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1answer
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What is so special about Beryllium (Be) and Magnesium (Mg)? [closed]

I am asking this because after studying periodic properties and trends of elements I have come to an understanding that these two elements ($\ce{Be \& Mg}$) are many of the time exception to the ...
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1answer
862 views

Two different electronic configurations for cerium

Depending on the textbook there are two different electronic configurations stated for cerium. On the one hand $$[\ce{Xe}]\mathrm{4f^15d^16s^2}\quad$$ and on the other hand $$[\ce{Xe}]\mathrm{4f^...
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Why does period 3 of the periodic table contain 8 elements instead of 18?

Period 1 of the periodic table contains 2 elements ($1s^1$ and $1s^2$). Period 2 contains 8 elements ($2s^1$, $2s^2$, $2p^1$, $2p^3$, ..., $2p^6$). By the same argument, period 3 might contain 18 ...
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1answer
61 views

What element has good conductivity but is also brittle? [closed]

I'm confused by what element(s) can be identified to have these properties. The following is text from my 2019-2020 Kaplan MCAT General Chemistry book under the metalloids section Silicon (Si) has ...
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6answers
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Why do we use helium in balloons?

While I was looking at the periodic table today, I realised that there were gases that were much lighter than helium such as hydrogen. If hydrogen is lighter than helium, why do we insist on using ...
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1answer
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Isotopes and elements [closed]

this is a gold bar. If we look at its structure, will we see that there are atoms that have a different number of neutrons (aka isotopes) (as far as I'm concerned, an isotope is an atom with a ...
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1answer
63 views

Reactivity and its meaning

When we say that “potassium” is reactive, are we referring to a potassium atom or bulk potassium as in the solid metal? In other words does “potassium” refer to a type of atom or an agglomeration of ...
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0answers
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Predicting atomic weight and density of calcium [closed]

I have a question from school: Assuming that the element Ca had not been discovered, predict using the properties of the known element surrounding Ca its own properties such as its atomic weight ...
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1answer
79 views

Why does zinc sulfide glow when hit by electrons? [duplicate]

In cathode ray tube experiment in order to check the direction of flow of electrons a hole was made in a note and behind it phosphorescent material zinc sulfide it was coated. Why does zinc sulfide ...
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Electrolysis of a calcium salt in polar aprotic solvent

If i found a calcium salt that is soluble in acetone or ethyl acetate, which are polar aprotic solvents, and attempted electrolysis, what would happen? Since polar aprotic solvents are used in metal-...
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What is the difference between an element and an atom?

First, I would like to quote sentences from a book introducing elements and atoms: An element is a fundamental (pure) form of matter that cannot be broken down to a simpler form. Elements are ...
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8answers
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Memorizing the periodic table

Several people have said that the key to understanding chemistry is through memorizing the periodic table. I want to ask if there is a simple technique to learn it, or if I just have to remember ...
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1answer
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Doubt on Element [duplicate]

I read the definition of element: Element consists of only one kind of atom and cannot be broken down into a simpler type of matter by either physical or chemical means. Then as per definition, $\...
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1answer
582 views

What are the most extreme chemicals?

Some chemicals certainly have extraordinary properties. One can consider them extreme in a sense, that they are the prime example for a concept, or they achieve the highest or lowest values in a ...
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1answer
821 views

Is it possible that atoms with 120 protons are possible, but that atoms with 119 protons aren't possible?

We currently know that there are atoms with atomic number up to 118 are possible. Is it possible that atoms with 120 protons are possible, but that atoms with 119 protons aren't possible? Or are ...
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1answer
856 views

“Estrontium” on poster

I was looking at a poster for an international chemistry olympiad. Its background contains some random elements as periodic table tiles. One of them said "Estrontium." A google search returned ...
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2answers
437 views

What is the true depiction of the periodic table?

Normally with the periodic table the lanthanide series is separated out because it's long and would make the table wide. I looked for an expanded version and found this: I found it kind of strange ...
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1answer
122 views

What is the most common element in the human body? [closed]

I was wondering that since H2O was 66% of the human body, hydrogen would be the most. But apparently carbon is. Can someone explain that?
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1answer
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Reasons for low melting point of gallium

J.D. Lee writes in Concise Inorganic Chemistry: Gallium has an unusual structure. Each atom has one closest neighbor at a distance of 2.43 Å. This remarkable structure tends towards discrete ...
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3answers
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Elements other than carbon that can form many different compounds by bonding to themselves?

My textbook says the following: Unique among the elements, carbon can bond to itself to form extremely strong two-dimensional sheets, as it does in graphite, as well as buckyballs and nanotubes. ...
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1answer
118 views

Does dilithium exist? [duplicate]

Lithium has two electrons in $\mathrm{1s}$, filling the first energy level; and one valence electron in $\mathrm{2s}$. Could two $\ce{Li}$ atoms form a bond to create $\ce{Li2}$; like $\ce{O2}$ or $\...
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2answers
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Is there a way to contain fluorine gas for long term so that it can be visually observed?

Bromine, chlorine and iodine can all be sealed in a glass container for display without the elements reacting with the glass. But if you try to seal fluorine in glass I believe it will react and fog ...
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1answer
880 views

How is it possible to increase mercury's specific weight?

Is it possible to change mercury's specific weight to make it heavier? By mixing it with anything? But not by changing its temperature.
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Would it be correct to say that ozone is an element?

My level of chemistry knowledge is restricted to that which is given at high school level. I was tought that an element is a substance that consists of only one type of atoms, meaning the number of ...
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0answers
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Why should I care about the highly radioactive elements after fermium? [closed]

After element 100, fermium, there are a bunch of highly radioactive elements like fermium, tennessine, and oganesson, and others. These elements are to radioactive to store, they will instantly ...
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1answer
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Why are actinides not commonly included in rare earth metals?

According to the German Wikipedia, the rare earth metals include all elements of the third side group except actinium, and all lanthanides. Zu den Metallen der Seltenen Erden gehören die chemischen ...
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1answer
54 views

Does one atom of an element show the properties of a bulk of that element? [duplicate]

For example, does one atom of gold have a golden color?
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1answer
140 views

Is there an element with no liquid state? [closed]

I know this question might be dumb but, is there an element that will go directly from solid to gas, with almost no visible or no liquid state? Just a random curious question.
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4answers
9k views

How were the elements discovered before modern technology?

I recently was in need of zinc for an experiment. So I resorted to obtain it from some dry cell. But I wondered if it was pure zinc or was it $\ce{ZnO2}$ or any other compound of $\ce{Zn}$. It then ...
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1answer
52 views

What does it mean that an electron quantum numbers are n1= 4 - l1?

I'm trying to solve some exercises from the 2017 IChO, and the problem 6-A1 states that in first ionization, an electron with the quantum numbers $n_1 = 4 - l_1$ is removed. Now, I've never seen ...
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2answers
653 views

Chemical composition of seawater

Is it true that the sea water is composed of about $86\%$ oxygen, $11\%$ hydrogen and $3\%$ of minerals? The chemical formula of water is $\ce{H2O}$ (two hydrogen and one oxgen) that shows that the ...
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1answer
568 views

Alternative ways to write a chemical formula and nomenclature: lead(IV) oxide, Pb(NO3)2, iron (II) oxide, hydrogen oxide

Each of the following formulas or chemical names contains an error. Correct each example. This is the solution in the answer sheet (left side of the equal sign is the question, and the right side is ...
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0answers
223 views

Why does zinc turn dark?

So I casted a zinc ingot around a week ago and I also casted 2 zinc ingots yesterday. After observing the two side by side I noticed that the older zinc ingot was darker colored, then I went and ...
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1answer
131 views

Is there a case when an atom of some element (e.g. carbon) does not have its expected number of protons (e.g. 6)?

Page 12 of the Study Guide for Campbell Biology, 11th Edition has the following question: A carbon atom has 6 neutrons. How many protons are present in the nucleus of a carbon atom? A. 12 ...
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1answer
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It is possible to create any metal? [duplicate]

This question just popped up in head. There are many things which we are good at. We are good at: constructions. build stuff. destroying things. repairing things. cleaning. But I want also to know, ...
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2answers
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Why does technetium not exist in nature?

Why does technetium not occur in nature? It is the only element before bismuth to net exist in nature. What's the reason for that?
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1answer
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Extracting sulphur from hot springs with medieval technology?

For the sake of a dungeons and dragons game. Could sulphur be deposited on/extracted from hot springs water through evaporation or other proess?
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Can we recycle garbage with the principles of mass spectrometry?

'Mass Spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that sorts ions based on their mass (or "weight"). Mass spectrometry is used for many chemical analyses, ranging from the analysis of a complex ...
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3answers
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What is dust made of?

I was cleaning my blinds today, and wanted to know what the primary components of dust are. I know that it is made of microorganisms and other particles, but I do not want to guess that it will be $\...
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4answers
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Does it change the compound if the element letters in its molecular formula are switched?

Does it change the compound if the element letters are switched? ex. $\ce{HO}$ or $\ce{OH}$. Are those two different compounds or are they one in the same?
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4answers
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Why is fluorine more reactive than chlorine?

Why is fluorine more reactive than chlorine despite chlorine having a higher electron affinity?
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1answer
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What is the chemical composition of the human body? [closed]

What is the average percent composition of each element in the average human body?
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1answer
839 views

Does pyrite retain the magnetic properties of its element iron?

You are walking in the mountains and pick up what looks like a nugget of gold. You're aware that fools gold (iron pyrite, $\ce{FeS2}$) exists. Create an experiment to test if this is pure gold or iron ...
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2answers
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Atomic weight = expected weight?

The atomic weight of an element, is it accurate to say that another way to think of it is the expected value of that element's weight if we were to sample one at random from the environment? Are man-...
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1answer
2k views

Why is silicon used in computer chips?

Most computer chips contain or are made of silicon. Why silicon? Why not copper or tellurium or some such?