By David Pescovitz at 1:13 pm Thu, Jul 24, 2008
“…of all stable elements, save the radioactive ones.”
Are there any stable elements that are radioactive? I thought the two were mutually exclusive.
I don’t know if this is what they meant, but there are a lot of non-radioactive elements which are very unstable chemically.
Sorry, I updated with clearer language.
HARVEYBOING, you are correct; if an isotope is stable, it is not radioactive. The instability leads to decay which emits radiation.
I can’t tell from the picture, but it looks like the table has some of the higher atomic number elements, many of which are unstable. Perhaps they meant naturally occurring elements (remember, uranium is naturally occurring, but unstable).
Jake, unstable chemically usually means compounds that break down easily, or perhaps highly reactive elements.
Still, cool table.
That’s elemental discrimination! I won’t stand for it! I demand my Uranium 92!
what about the emotionally wobbly elements?
There are radioactive isotopes of all elements. For instance, the kind of beryllium formed in the early universe was quite spectacularly unstable. Indeed, it long created a puzzle for cosmologists about why anything heavier than helium existed at all.
What this table excludes are Actinides and Lanthanides.
So I shouldn’t have spent all that money on my 2 kg brick of francium-223?!?
was it Morroccan?
Don’t break the ice!
Similar to the hand-made wooden periodic table that won an Ig Nobel prize a few years ago.
That’s great. In the future will be ‘periodic tables’ like this one, but whatever substance is placed or spilled on it will be molecular scanned and identified, to which the appropriate sequence of elements will light up.
Still, it’s probably for the best that the radioactive elements are not included. As we are all aware, Radioactivity + ______ = Superpowers based on whatever ______ is, a la Spiderman, et al. Thus, you’d wind up with all the abilities of a coffee table–which of course just means you have an affinity for coffee and weird books.
Hmm. Maybe I’m a superhero…
This was an item in the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt last year! There were a fair few nice examples, especially thanks to students who had access to the chemistry department’s considerable stores.
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