elements.wlonk.com

The Elements — Descriptions, Uses and Occurrences

with quick links to find out much more
Key
Name: Click name to find more info about the element. Click speaker icon for pronunciation.
Description: Physical characteristics of the element in its pure form.
Uses and Occurrences: How the element is (or was) used or where it is found. Click to find more info about each use or occurrence.

1 H Hydrogen audio
explosive gas, lightest element
90% of atoms in the universe, sun and stars, H2O, life's organic molecules
2 He Helium audio
inert gas, second-lightest element
nuclear fusion in sun and stars, balloons, lasers, supercold refrigerant
3 Li Lithium audio
lightest metal, soft, reactive
lightweight aluminum alloys, batteries, impact-resistant ceramic cookware (Corningware©), mood stabilizer
4 Be Beryllium audio
lightweight metal
non-sparking copper alloy tools, aerospace, X-ray windows, beryl gems: emeralds and aquamarines
5 B Boron audio
hard black solid
borax soap, fertilizer, stiff fibers, sports equipment (golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis), heat-resistant borosilicate glass (Pyrex©), semiconductors
6 C Carbon audio
hard diamond, soft graphite
basis of life's organic molecules, animals, plants, CO2, wood, paper, cloth, plastic, coal, oil
7 N Nitrogen audio
colorless gas
78% of air, organic molecules, protein, muscles, DNA, ammonia, fertilizer, explosives (TNT), refrigerants
8 O Oxygen audio
colorless gas
21% of air, H2O, 65% of the human body, organic molecules, blood, breathing, fire, half of Earth's crust, minerals, oxides
9 F Flourine audio
yellowish poison gas, most reactive element
glowing fluorite, toothpaste, nonstick cookware (Teflon©), CFC refrigerants (Freon©)
10 Ne Neon audio
inert gas
orange-red neon tubes for advertising signs, lasers, supercold refrigerant
11 Na Sodium audio Natrium
soft metal, reactive
salt (NaCl), nerves, baking soda, antacids, lye, soap, soda ash, glass, papermaking, street lamps
12 Mg Magnesium audio
lightweight metal
chlorophyll in green plants, talc, basalt, aluminum alloys, cars, planes, bikes, flares, sparklers, antacids
13 Al Aluminum audio or Aluminium audio
lightweight non-corroding metal
common metal, kitcheware, cans, foil, machinery, cars, planes, bikes, feldspar, granite, clay, ceramics, corundum, gems
14 Si Silicon audio
hard metalloid
quartz, granite, sand, soil, clay, ceramics, glass, algae, diatoms, semiconductors, computer chips, silicone rubber
15 P Phosphorus audio
glowing white waxy solid (also red and black forms)
bones, DNA, energy-storing phosphates (ATP), fertilizer, acids, detergents, matches
16 S Sulfur audio Sulphur
brittle yellow solid
skin, hair, eggs, onions, garlic, skunks, hot springs, volcanos, gypsum, rubber, acids, papermaking
17 Cl Chlorine audio
greenish poison gas
salt (NaCl), bleach, stomach acid, disinfectant, drinking water, swimming pools, PVC plastic pipes and bottles
18 Ar Argon audio
inert gas
1% of air, most abundant inert gas on Earth, light bulbs, "neon" tubes, lasers, welding gas
19 K Potassium audio Kalium
soft metal, reactive
salts, nerves, nutrient in fruits and vegetables, soap, fertilizer, potash, matches, gunpowder
20 Ca Calcium audio
soft metal
bones, teeth, milk, leaves, vegetables, shells, coral, limestone, chalk, gypsum, plaster, mortar, cement, marble, antacids
21 Sc Scandium audio
soft lightweight metal
aluminum alloys, racing bikes, stadium lamps, furnace bricks, aquamarines
22 Ti Titanium audio
strongest lightweight metal, heat-resistant
aerospace, racing bikes, artificial joints, white paint, blue sapphires
23 V Vanadium audio
hard metal
hard strong resilient steel, structures, vehicles, springs, driveshafts, tools, aerospace, violet sapphires
24 Cr Chromium audio
hard shiny metal
stainless steel (Fe-Cr-Ni), kitchenware, nichrome heaters, car trim, paints, recording tape, emeralds and rubies
25 Mn Manganese audio
hard metal
hard tough steel, earthmovers, rock crushers, rails, plows, axes, batteries, fertilizer, amethysts
26 Fe Iron audio Ferrum
medium-hard metal, magnetic
steel alloys are mostly iron, structures, vehicles, magnets, Earth's core, red rocks, blood
27 Co Cobalt audio
hard metal, magnetic
hard strong steel, cutting tools, turbines, magnets (Al-Ni-Co), blue glass and ceramics, vitamin B-12
28 Ni Nickel audio
medium-hard metal, magnetic
stainless steel (Fe-Cr-Ni), kitchenware, nichrome heaters, coins, nicad batteries, Earth's core
29 Cu Copper audio Cuprum
colored metal, conducts heat and electricity well
wires, cookware, brass (Cu-Zn), bronze (Cu-Sn), coins, pipes, blue crab blood
30 Zn Zinc audio
non-corroding metal
galvanized steel, brass (Cu-Zn), batteries, white paint, phosphors in TVs and lamps, fertilizer
31 Ga Gallium audio
soft metal, melts on a hot day
semiconductors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) (GaAs), signal lights, tiny lasers
32 Ge Germanium audio
brittle metalloid
semiconductors, transistors, rectifiers, diodes, photocells, lenses, infrared windows
33 As Arsenic audio
brittle metalloid
poisons, semiconductors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) (GaAs), signal lights, tiny lasers
34 Se Selenium audio
brittle gray solid
semiconductors, photocopiers, laser printers, photocells, red glass, dandruff shampoo, rubber
35 Br Bromine audio
dark red liquid
disinfectant, pools and spas, photo film, flame retardant, leaded gas, sedatives
36 Kr Krypton audio
inert gas
high-intensity lamps, headlights, flashlights, lanterns, "neon" tubes, lasers
37 Rb Rubidium audio
soft metal, reactive
atomic clocks, global navigation (GPS), vacuum tube scavenger
38 Sr Strontium audio
soft metal
red fireworks, flares, phosphors, nuclear batteries, medical diagnostic tracer, nuclear fallout
39 Y Yttrium audio
soft metal
phosphors in color TVs, lasers (YAG, YLF), furnace bricks, high-temperature superconductors
40 Zr Zirconium audio
non-corroding neutron-resistant metal
chemical pipelines, nuclear reactors, furnace bricks, abrasives, zircon gems
41 Nb Niobium audio
high-melting-point non-corroding metal
chemical pipelines, superconductors, magnetic levitation trains, MRI magnets
42 Mo Molybdenum audio
high-melting-point metal
hard steel, cutting tools, drill bits, armor plate, gun barrels, fertilizer
43 Tc Technetium audio
radioactive, long-lived
first human-made element, only traces on Earth but found in stars, medical diagnostic tracer
44 Ru Ruthenium audio
non-corroding hard metal
electric contacts, leaf switches, pen tips, catalyst, hydrogen production
45 Rh Rhodium audio
non-corroding hard shiny metal
labware, reflectors, electric contacts, thermocouples, catalyst, pollution control
46 Pd Palladium audio
non-corroding hard metal, absorbs hydrogen
labware, electric contacts, dentistry, catalyst, pollution control
47 Ag Silver audio Argentum
soft shiny metal, conducts electricity best of all elements
jewelry, silverware, coins, dentistry, photo film
48 Cd Cadmium audio
non-corroding soft metal, toxic
electroplated steel, nicad batteries, red and yellow paints, fire sprinklers
49 In Indium audio
soft metal
solders, glass seals, glass coatings, liquid crystal displays (LCD), semiconductors, diodes, photocells
50 Sn Tin audio Stanum
non-corroding soft metal
solders, plated food cans, bronze (Cu-Sn), pewter cups, glassmaking, fire sprinklers
51 Sb Antimony audio Stibium
brittle metalloid
solders, lead hardener, batteries, bullet, semiconductors, photocells, matches, flame retardant
52 Te Tellurium audio
brittle metalloid
alloys, semiconductors, photocopiers, computer disk, thermo-electric coolers and generators
53 I Iodine audio
violet-black solid
disinfectant for wounds and drinking water, added to salt to prevent thyroid disease, photo film
54 Xe Xenon audio
inert gas
high-intensity lamps, headlights, stadium lamps, projectors, strobes, lasers, spacecraft ion engines
55 Cs Cesium audio Caesium
soft metal, melts on a hot day, reactive, largest stable atoms
atomic clocks, global navigation (GPS), vacuum tube scavenger
56 Ba Barium audio
soft metal, absorbs X-rays
stomach X-ray contrast enhancer, green fireworks, whitener and filler for paper
57 La Lanthanum audio
soft metal
optical glass, telescope eyepieces, camera lenses, lighter flints, arc lamps
58 Ce Cerium audio
soft metal
most abundant rare earth metal, lighter flints, arc lamps, gas lamp mantles, self-cleaning ovens, glass polishing
59 Pr Praseodymium audio
soft metal
torchworkers' didymium eyeglasses, lighter flints, arc lamps, magnets, yellow glass
60 Nd Neodymium audio
soft metal
strong magnets (Nd-Fe-B), electric motors, speakers and headphones, lasers, lighter flints
61 Pm Promethium audio
radioactive, long-lived
human-made, small traces in nature, luminous dials, sheet thickness gauges
62 Sm Samarium audio
soft metal
magnets (Sm-Co), electric motors, speakers and headphones, infrared sensors, infrared-absorbing glass
63 Eu Europium audio
soft metal
phosphors in color TVs and trichromatic fluorescent lamps, luminous paint, lasers
64 Gd Gadolinium audio
soft metal, best neutron absorber, magnetic
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast enhancer, phosphors, neutron radiography
65 Tb Terbium audio
soft metal
phosphors in color TVs and trichromatic fluorescent lamps, computer disks, magnetostrictive "smart" materials (Fe-Dy-Tb) (Terfenol-D©)
66 Dy Dysprosium audio
soft metal
nuclear control rods, MRI phosphors, computer disks, magnetostrictive "smart" materials (Fe-Dy-Tb) (Terfenol-D©)
67 Ho Holmium audio
soft metal
infrared lasers, laser surgery, eye-safe laser rangefinders, computer disks, yellow glass filters
68 Er Erbium audio
soft metal
fiber optic signal amplifiers, infrared lasers, laser surgery, pink glass, sunglasses, vanadium alloys
69 Tm Thulium audio
soft metal
rarest stable rare earth metal, infrared lasers, laser surgery, phosphors
70 Yb Ytterbium audio
soft metal
fiber optic signal amplifiers, infrared fiber lasers, stainless steel alloys
71 Lu Lutetium audio
soft metal, densest and hardest rare earth metal
cancer-fighting photodynamic (light-activated) medicine
72 Hf Hafnium audio
non-corroding metal, absorbs neutrons
nuclear reactor control rods in submarines, plasma torch electrodes
73 Ta Tantalum audio
high-melting-point non-corroding metal
labware, surgical tools, artificial joints, capacitors, mobile phones
74 W Tungsten audio Wolfram
highest-melting-point metal, dense
filaments in lamps and TVs, cutting tools, abrasives, thermocouples
75 Re Rhenium audio
high-melting-point dense metal
rocket engines, heater coils, laboratory filaments, electric contacts, thermocouples, catalyst
76 Os Osmium audio
non-corroding high-melting-point hard metal, densest element (same as Ir)
electric contacts, pen tips, needles, fingerprint powder
77 Ir Iridium audio
non-corroding hard metal, densest element (same as Os)
labware, spark plugs, pen tips, needles
78 Pt Platinum audio
non-corroding dense metal
labware, spark plugs, catalyst, pollution control, petroleum cracking, processing fats
79 Au Gold audio Aurum
most malleable element, dense non-tarnishing colored metal
jewelry, coins, ultra-thin gold leaf, electric contacts
80 Hg Mercury audio Hydrargium
liquid metal, toxic
thermometers, barometers, thermostats, street lamps, fluorescent lamps, dentistry
81 Tl Thallium audio
soft metal, toxic
low-melting-point mercury alloys, low-temperature thermometers, undersea lamps, photocells
82 Pb Lead audio Plumbum
dense, soft, non-corroding metal, toxic
weights, solders, batteries, bullets, crystal glass, old plumbing, radiation shield
83 Bi Bismuth audio
low melting point, brittle metal
solders, fuses, fire sprinklers (plugs melt when hot), cosmetics pigment
84 Po Polonium audio
radioactive, long-lived
first radioactive element found, small traces in nature, anti-static brushes, tobacco
85 At Astatine audio
radioactive, short-lived
small traces in nature, cancer medicine
86 Rn Radon audio
radioactive gas, short-lived
environmental hazard, surgical implants for cancer treatment
87 Fr Francium audio
radioactive, short-lived, atoms larger than cesium
small traces in nature, studied in laser atom traps
88 Ra Radium audio
radioactive, long-lived
luminous watches (now banned), medical radon production, radiography, radwaste
89 Ac Actinium audio
radioactive, long-lived
small traces in nature, cancer medicine, neutron source, radwaste
90 Th Thorium audio
radioactive, long-lived
most abundant radioactive element, nuclear reactor fuel, gas lamp mantles, tungsten filaments, radwaste
91 Pa Protactinium audio
radioactive, long-lived
small traces in nature, no uses, radwaste
92 U Uranium audio
radioactive, long-lived, dense
nuclear reactor fuel, nuclear weapons, counterweights, armor-piercing bullets
93 Np Neptunium audio
radioactive, long-lived
small traces in nature, neutron detectors, dosimeters, possibly nuclear weapons, radwaste
94 Pu Plutonium audio
radioactive, long-lived
small traces in nature, nuclear reactor fuel, spacecraft power, nuclear weapons
95 Am Americium audio
radioactive, long-lived
never found in nature, smoke detectors, sheet thickness gauges, radwaste
96 Cm Curium audio
radioactive, long-lived
never found in nature, scientific instruments, mineral analyzers, radwaste
97 Bk Berkelium audio
radioactive, long-lived
never found in nature, no uses, radwaste
98 Cf Californium audio
radioactive, long-lived
never found in nature, scientific instruments, mineral analyzers, radwaste
99 Es Einsteinium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
100 Fm Fermium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
101 Md Mendelevium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
102 No Nobelium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
103 Lr Lawrencium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
104 Rf Rutherfordium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
105 Db Dubnium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
106 Sg Seaborgium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
107 Bh Bohrium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
108 Hs Hassium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
109 Mt Meitnerium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
110 Ds Darmstadtium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
111 Rg Roentgenium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
112 Cn Copernicium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
113 Nh Nihonium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
114 Fl Flerovium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
115 Mc Moscovium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
116 Lv Livermorium audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
117 Ts Tennessine audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
118 Og Oganesson audio
radioactive, short-lived
never found in nature, no uses
(heaviest element yet made when this was written)

On this chart, a radioactive element is called long-lived if the half-life of any of its isotopes is more than one year; otherwise it is called short-lived. Some super-heavy elements marked short-lived may in future be found to have long-lived isotopes (see island of stability).

Reference: IUPAC is the world authority on the naming of elements (see IUPAC periodic table).

Hydrogen Helium Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon Sodium Magnesium Aluminum Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon Cesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson