Chapter 11- How Elements Deceive

By: Ashley Pennington


In Chapter 11, the author talks about how elements can surprise and deceive us. We may think they can do one thing, when they are actually doing something else. The elements can have qualities we didn't quite think an element would have. The elements mentioned in my chapter that can deceive us are Nitrogen, Titanium, Beryllium, Sodium, Potassium, and Iodine. Each of these elements are classified differently, but can still deceive us. These elements can be disguised as something good, but actually be toxic to us. This chapter shows how these elements can effect us.
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  • Atomic Number - 7
  • Atomic Mass- 14.007
  • Period- 2
  • Group- 15
  • Electron Configuration- 1s^2 2s^2 2p^3
  • Non-metal
  • Nitrogen makes up 78% of Earth's atmosphere. It can also be found as within the compounds NH3 and HNO3. NH3 makes ammonia and HNO3 makes nitric acid. We need nitrogen to live, so it is very important (TJNAF).
  • Discovered by Scottish Physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772 (TJNAF). Rutherford removed oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air to prove that the remaining gas would not support living organisms or combustion. French chemist Antoine Lavoiser mistakenly named nitrogen azote, which means without life (LANL).
  • Nitrogen is easy to breathe and colorless. Since it is easy to breathe, it relaxes our lungs, so you can't feel it when dying from it (Ch. 11, pg.189).


  • Atomic Number- 22
  • Atomic mass- 47.861
  • Period- 4
  • Group- 4
  • Electron Configuration- 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^2
  • Transition Metal
  • The ninth most abundant element in Earth's crust, but not found freely in nature. It is found in minerals such as Rutile (TiO2), Sphene (CaTiSiO5), and Ilmenite (FeTiO3). (TJNAF).
  • The largest use of titanium is to create a pigment in white paint, which is made from titanium dioxide (TiO2). Pure titanium dioxide is used to create artificial gemstones (TJNAF). Titanium is used to replace limbs and other parts of the body. The body had rejected everything given to it, except titanium. Titanium deceives the blood cells and bone forming cells to think the titanium is actually bone (Ch. 11, pg. 190-191).
  • Discovered in 1791 by Reverend William Gregor, an English pastor.
  • Named after the Greek word Titans, meaning the "first sons of earth" (TJNAF).
  • This element is the only element that will burn in an atmosphere full of pure nitrogen. It is a strong but light metal. It as strong as steel and twice as strong as aluminum (TJNAF).


  • Atomic Number- 4
  • Atomic Mass- 9.012
  • Period- 2
  • Group- 2
  • Electron Configuration- 1s^2 2s^2
  • Alkaline earth metal
  • Beryllium is found in the elements emeralds and beryl. It is found in the compound BeO, which is used in nuclear industry and ceramics (TJNAF).
  • Used to make windows for x-ray tubes. Put with copper to make a wear resistant metal which is used in gyroscopes and other wear resistant devices. It is also used with nickel to make springs and non sparking tools (TJNAF).
  • Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin first discovered an unknown element in emerald and beryl, but in 1828, chemists Friedrich Wolhler of Germany and A. Bussy of France isolated Beryllium (TJNAF).
  • Named after the mineral, beryl (TJNAF).
  • Beryllium is pale and hard to melt. It is also an insoluble metal. It tastes like sugar, but doesn't have the appearance of sugar molecules. It tricks the sour and sweet taste buds. While it tastes like sugar, it is toxic. Beryllium powder can scar the lungs (Ch. 11, 192-193).


  • Atomic Number: 11
  • Atomic mass: 22.990
  • Period: 3
  • Group: 1
  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^1
  • Alkali Metal
  • Earth's crust contains 2.6% Sodium. It is never found free in nature (TJNAF).
  • Sodium is in many useful compounds such as: Table salt (NaCl), soda ash (Na2Co3), baking soda (NaHCO3), Chile Saltpeter (NaNO3), caustic soda (NaOH), and borax. (TJNAF).
  • Sodium is used when producing titanium, sodium peroxide, sodium cyanide, and sodium hydride. Nuclear reactors use liquid sodium as a coolant. Streetlights use sodium vapor to produce the yellow color (TJNAF).
  • It was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1807 through electrolysis of the compound NaOH, which is caustic soda. It is named after the word "soda" and the Latin word "sodanum". The symbol, Na, comes from the Latin Word natrium, which is sodium carbonate (TJNAF).
  • Sodium is tastes salty. It is also a charged ion in nature. The tongue helps detect this charge. It also helps nerve cells send signals to the brain and help our muscles contract. We cannot live without Sodium (Ch. 11, pg. 194).


  • Atomic Number: 19
  • Atomic Mass: 39.098
  • Period: 4
  • Group: 1
  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^1
  • Alkali Metal
  • Potassium makes up 2.1% of Earth's crust, but is never found freely in nature (TJNAF).
  • Many compounds are formed from Potassium. These compounds include: Potassium Chloride (KCl), Potassium Hydroxide (KOH), Potassium Carbonate (KHCO3), etc.. (TJNAF).
  • Potassium is important for our bodies, in a lot of the same ways that sodium is. We cannot live without it, it tastes salty, it is a charged ion in nature and the tongue can detect the charge, and it helps our nerve cells to send signals to the brain and helps our muscles contract (Ch. 11, pg. 194-195).
  • Isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1807, through electrolysis of molten caustic potash. It is named after the word potash. It's chemical symbol comes from the Latin word for alkali, which is kalium (TJNAF).
  • Potassium can actually shut the tongue down. Also, raw potassium neuters Miraculin, which makes sour taste sweet (Ch.11, pgs. 194-195).


  • Atomic number: 53
  • Atomic mass: 126.904
  • Period: 5
  • Group: 17
  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 4p^6 5s^2 4d^10 5p^5
  • Halogen
  • It is found in Chile and Bolivia. It is mainly obtained from Sodium Iodate (NaIO3) and sodium periodate (NaIO4). (TJNAF)
  • This element is important because it is essential for our health. Lack of Iodine can cause Goiter, which is when the thyroid gland swells. If the Iodine deficiency is persistent, then the thyroid gland will shrivel up. If we do not have a thyroid gland, then the body won't be able to release or regulate hormones, even in the brain (Ch.11, pgs. 197-199).
  • Iodine can be used to test starch. Potassium Iodine is used to make photographic film. It can also be an antiseptic for external wounds. Iodine-131, a radioactive isotope of iodine, can be used to treat some diseases of the thyroid gland (TJNAF).
  • Iodine is named after the Greek word for violet, which is iodes (TJNAF).
  • Discovered in 1811 by French chemist Barnard Courtois (TJNAF).
  • If ingested, pure iodine is poisonous. It can also burn the skin and damage the eyes or mucous membranes (TJNAF).

Overall Summary

These elements are very important in our lives. Iodine, Potassium, Sodium, Beryllium, Titanium, and Nitrogen are all important in their own way. They can benefit our bodies or hurt them. Either way, when these elements were discovered, history was made and our lives were changed forever. This chapter talked about how deceiving these elements can be. While they can be deceiving, they are still very important.