Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Elements

Here's a little more information about the elements and their uses. If you're interested in this sort of thing, there's a great book on Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, by John Emsley. Each element is discussed in terms of its uses, history, function in the human body, and utility to the economy. Here's a sample:

The top ten elements dissolved in the oceans and their abundance (ppm)

1. Chlorine (19,400)
2. Sodium (10,800)
3. Magnesium (1,300)
4. Sulfur (904)
5. Calcium (411)
6. Potassium (392)
7. Bromine (67)
8. Carbon (28)
9. Strontium (8)
10. Boron (5)

The top ten gaseous elements in the atmosphere and their abundance (ppm)

1. Nitrogen (780,900)
2. Oxygen (209,500)
3. Argon (9,300)
4. Neon (18)
5. Helium (5.2)
6. Krypton (1.1)
7. Hydrogen (0.5)
8. Xenon (0.09)
9. Radon (traces)
10. Chlorine (traces)

Ten elements commonly used in weapons (example)

1. Antimony (greek fire)
2. Arsenic (mustard gas)
3. Carbon (gunpowder)
4. Iron (swords)
5. Beryllium (hydrogen bombs)
6. Magnesium (incendiary bombs)
7. Nitrogen (explosives)
8. Phosphorus (nerve gas)
9. Manganese (armor)
10. Uranium (atomic bombs)

Previous posting on the Elements here.


I hope everyone's US Independence Day was a happy one!

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