How do gallium and tantalum influence your daily life? Quite a bit, it turns out. Gallium is a component of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, while tantalum can be found in mobile phones. Boeing software engineer Keith Enevoldsen designed the interactive Periodic Table of the Elements, in Pictures and Words to show just how much those seemingly-obscure elements on the periodic table play a role in our lives.
Scandium is found in bicycles; palladium is used for pollution control. These tidbits are just a few of the facts you can find out on Enevoldsen’s interactive periodic table, targeted towards kids but still informative for adults. Bet you didn’t know there’s krypton in flashlights, antimony in car batteries, or strontium in fireworks?
Each element on the interactive table comes with a description and a list of a few different uses. The tables are color-coded to show how the elements are grouped together, and symbols indicate whether an element is a solid, liquid, or gas. Other symbols show whether the element is common in the human body or in the earth’s crust, and if it’s radioactive, magnetic, noble, and rarely or never found in nature.
Enevoldsen updates his tables when new elements are added. For example, in November 2016 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry approved four brand new element names – 113 Nihonium (Nh), 115 Moscovium (Mc), 117 Tennessine (Ts), and 118 Oganesson (Og) – and Enevoldsen added them to his charts.
He offers the tables in different formats, in words or in pictures, as posters available for purchase online. He also offers print-your-own element flash cards. Enevoldsen also runs a website called ThinkZone with miscellaneous thought experiments and resources for mathematics, language, science, history, geography, art, and music.