Disappering Spoon Project

By: Graham Helton

Chapter Eleven Synopsis- How Elements Deceive

In chapter eleven, Sam Kean talks about how elements deceive. There are six elements mentioned in this paragraph; Beryllium, Nitrogen, Sodium, Potassium, Titanium, and lastly Iodine. First when consuming Beryllium, which is toxic, tastes of sugar. The “Alarm receptors” inside our mouths will tell us not to eat hot foods, but they don’t go off if we try to eat Chilli Peppers (Chapter 11, pg.100-101). Next Nitrogen makes up eighty percent of the air we breathe. Knowing that in 1966,NASA filled the spacecrafts with pure Oxygen. Flames in Pure Oxygen burn faster and more hotter without Atmospheric Nitrogen to dilute the flames. In 1976 during training, after an unexplained spark occurred, a fire started, cremating the three astronauts inside. Now NASA uses inert gas to fill the training modules (Chapter 11,pg.98).

The eleventh and nineteenth element, Sodium and Potassium, are very similar. Both “Sodium and Potassium exist in nature in as charged ions, their charge helps nerve cells send signals and muscle contract, so we’d literally be brain dead and our hearts would stop without the charge they supply(Chapter eleven,pg.102). That basically sums up why both of those elements are important. Lastly, in the early 1900’s western countries figured out that adding Iodine to the diet,through salt, was the cheapest and most effective way the government can take to prevent birth defects. The only problem was in India, where making salt, which had little Iodine, was a poor person commodity. People of India didn’t trust iodized salt. Consumption plummeted 13 percent nationwide. Birth defects climbed in tandem. Luckily, the repeal lasted only until 2005, when a new prime minister again banned common salt. But this hardly solves India’s iodine problem (Chapter 11, pg.103)

Beryllium

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Where was it found and is it in nature?

Today, beryllium is primarily obtained from the minerals bery and bertrandite through a chemical process or through the electrolysis of a mixture of molten beryllium chloride (BeCl2) and sodium chloride (NaCl).

Beryllium oddly tastes like sugar.

Where did its name come from?

From the Greek word beryl, a type of mineral.


Attempts to isolate the new element from emeralds and beryl finally succeeded in 1828 when two chemists, Friedrich Wölhler of Germany and A. Bussy of France, independently produced beryllium by reducing beryllium chloride (BeCl2) with potassium in a platinum crucible.

Period number

2

Group number

2

The Electron Configuration of Beryllium


1s2 2s2

Nitrogen

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Where was it found and is it in nature?

It makes up about 78% of the earth's atmosphere.

Nitrogen is obtained from liquefied air through a process known as fractional distillation.

Where did its name come from?



From the Greek words nitron and genes, which together mean "saltpetre forming."

Nitrogen was discovered by the Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772.

Period number

2

Group Number

15-Pnictogen

The Electron Configuration of Nitrogen



1s2 2s2 2p3

Sodium

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Where was it found and is it in nature?

Sodium is found in nature as charged ions, but is mostly used in a compound table salt (Nacl).

Where did its name come from?

From the English word soda and from the Medieval Latin word sodanum, which means "headache remedy." Sodium's chemical symbol comes from the Latin word for sodium carbonate, natrium.

Pure sodium was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1807 through the electrolysis of caustic soda NaOH.

Period number

3

Group number

1- Alkali Metal

The Electron Configuration of Sodium


1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1

Potassium

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Where is it found in nature?

Potassium is found in nature as charged ions, but is mostly used in compound like (KOH)

Where did its name come from?

From the English word potash. Potassium's chemical symbol comes from the Latin word for alkali,kalium.

Metallic potassium was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1807 through the electrolysis of molten caustic potash (KOH).

Period number

4

Group number

1- Alkali Metal

The Electron Configuration of Potassium


1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1

Titanium

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Where is it found in nature?

Titanium is in the earth's crust and is primarily found in the minerals rutile (TiO2), ilmenite (FeTiO3) and sphene (CaTiSiO5).

Where did its name come from?

From the Greek word Titans, the mythological "first sons of the Earth."

Titanium was discovered in 1791 by the Reverend William Gregor

Period number

4

Group number

4- Transition Metal

The Electron Configuration of Titanium

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d2 4s2

Iodine

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Where is it found in nature?

Iodine is obtained from deposits of sodium iodate (NaIO3) and sodium periodate (NaIO4) in Chile and Bolivia.

Where did its name come from?

From the Greek word for violet, iodes.

Iodine was discovered by the French chemist Barnard Courtois in 1811.

Period Number

5

Group Number

17 -Halogen

The Electron Configuration of Iodine

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p5

Citations

Gagnon, Steve. "The Periodic Table of Elements." It's Elemental -. Jefferson Lab, n.d. Web. Retrieved from <http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/>.