Yes, at first glance the Periodic Table of Elements may simply look like a bunch of boring, complex scrabble tiles that have nothing to do with you. But getting a solid grasp of chemistry is important — it helps explain a lot of the things happening around you every single day. Test your knowledge with the quiz below and if you don’t nail it, take it again. Those elements will sink in soon, we promise!
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Quiz: Elements Challenge
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ROUND I: Match the symbol with its element. C represents:
C represents carbon. Pencil lead and diamonds are both forms of carbon. It’s true. We looked it up.
H represents hydrogen. Mercury is Hg. Why not M? Its name comes from hydrargyrum, Latin for liquid silver.
N represents nitrogen. Yes, nickel, neon and neptunium are all real elements.
Kr represents krypton. (For real.) The others? We made those up.
O represents oxygen, and puts the O in H2O.
Au represents gold. Ag represents silver.
ROUND II: Match the element with the right symbol. Iron:
The symbol for iron is Fe. Yes, you can blame the ancients for this one, too. It’s based on the Latin word “ferrum.”
The symbol for potassium is K. It’s found in bananas. They say it helps keep you from getting muscle cramps.
It’s from the word plumbum, Latin for “lead.” Yup, you guessed it–that’s also where we get the word plumber.
The symbol for sodium is Na. Chances are you’ve eaten a bunch of NaCl today. It’s sodium chloride, um, table salt.
The symbol for copper is Cu, and its root is crazy, even for ancient Romans. It comes from cyprium, after the island of Cypress, which had a bunch of copper mines on it.
FINAL QUESTION: Which of these is NOT a real element?
In addition to those elements named for America, Europe and Einstein, there are also ones named for the planet Pluto (plutonium), Alfred Nobel of Nobel Prize fame (nobelium) and U.C. Berkeley (berkelium).