Whoa! The Periodic Table Contains the Lightest to the Heaviest Elements! Let's check them out!
The Periodic Table contains all the elements discovered by mankind. These elements are arranged by their respective atomic weights. Some elements are very light, while others are very heavy.
The Periodic Table contains all the elements discovered by mankind. These elements are arranged by their respective atomic weights. Some elements are very light, while others are very heavy. Let us take a look at the lightest and heaviest elements by weight-
The Lightest Elements ?
Hydrogen is the simplest and lightest element and the most common in the entire universe. 93 per cent of all atoms in the universe are hydrogen atoms. On earth, it is relatively rare in the atmosphere ? only 5 of every 100 million litres of air are hydrogen but hydrogen combined with oxygen forms all the water in the world?s oceans, lakes, and rivers.
Hydrogen is very light. The air in a room with walls 4M long and 4M high would weigh 82.5 kg, but if the same room were filled with hydrogen, it would weigh only 5.76 Kg. This is why it was used in balloons carrying human passengers. The second-ever flight, in Paris on 1st December 1783, was in a hydrogen balloon. Hydrogen was also used in giant airships until 6th May 1937, when the giant German airship Hindenburg exploded killing 36 people at Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA. Today, hydrogen fuel cars are used to power clean-energy cars.
Helium is twice as heavy as hydrogen, but it is still only one seventh the weight of air. Unlike hydrogen, helium does not burn, so it is used in modern airships and hot air balloons.
Lithium was discovered in 1817 by Swedish scientist Johan August Arfvedson. It takes its name from the Latin word for rock, although it is actually a metal. Lithium is so light (42 times lighter than the heaviest element, Osmium) and so soft that it can be easily cut with a knife. It floats because it is half as heavy as water, and lighter than some types of wood. It is used to make lithium batteries.
Potassium and Sodium
Both were discovered in 1807 by Sir Humphrey Davy. Both are metals that are lighter than water. In a laboratory, potassium is usually kept in paraffin because if it comes into contact with water it releases hydrogen and generates so much heat that it catches fire. Sodium also has to be kept immersed in paraffin ? if it is dropped into water, it hurtles around on the surface before noisily bursting into flames. Potassium is vital for plant growth and human well-being. Our bodies contain about 140g of Potassium. Sodium is relatively common as part of a compound. When in combination with chlorine, it is ordinary table salt.
Osmium is the heaviest element of all (22.61g per cubic centimetre). It was discovered by the British chemist Smithson Tennant in 1803. He named it after the Greek word for smell because it smelt bad. Osmium is twice as heavy as lead ? so heavy that a cubic foot (0.028317 cubic meters) weighs 640 Kg- as much as ten average people. A football made of Osmium would weigh 126 Kg.
Platinum was used before anyone realized that it was an element. It weighs almost as much as Osmium and is used to make jewellery that is even more expensive than gold.
Plutonium was discovered in 1941. It is a heavy and highly radioactive metal. It is used as a nuclear fuel and in nuclear weapons.
Gold is best known of all heavy metals. At 19.29 g per cubic centimetre, it is less heavy than the others. Gold has been prized since ancient times and has many uses beyond coins and jewellery.