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Treebeard's Stumper
18 February 2000

An Elementary Scavenger Hunt

Everything in the world is made from the same 92+ chemical elements listed below. Some are commonplace, like iron and oxygen. Others are profoundly uncommon, like hafnium and yttrium. Many are unfamiliar, but they have regular uses, like lithium camera batteries. This vacation stumper is a scavenger hunt. Can you find natural or manufactured objects that contain each of the natural elements, either as a pure sample or an important ingredient? The more familiar and useful, the better! Find them, and we'll make a collection!

 
The Elements Listed by Atomic Number    Tom Leher's song The Elements (1960)

1HydrogenH
2HeliumHe
3LithiumLi
4BerylliumBe
5BoronB
6CarbonC
7NitrogenN
8OxygenO
9FluorineF
10NeonNe
11SodiumNa
12MagnesiumMg
13AluminumAl
14SiliconSi
15PhosphorusP
16SulfurS
17ChlorineCl
18ArgonAr
19PotassiumK
20CalciumCa
21ScandiumSc
22TitaniumTi
23VanadiumV
24ChromiumCr
25ManganeseMn
26IronFe
27CobaltCo
28NickelNi
29CopperCu
30ZincZn
31GalliumGa
32GermaniumGe
33ArsenicAs
34SeleniumSe
35BromineBr
36KryptonKr
37RubidiumRb
38StrontiumSr
39YttriumY
40ZirconiumZr
41NiobiumNb
42MolybdenumMo
43TechnetiumTc
44RutheniumRu
45RhodiumRh
46PalladiumPd
47SilverAg
48CadmiumCd
49IndiumIn
50TinSn
51AntimonySb
52TelluriumTe
53IodineI
54XenonXe
55CesiumCs
56BariumBa
57LanthanumLa
58CeriumCe
59PraseodymiumPr
60NeodymiumNd
61PromethiumPm
62SamariumSm
63EuropiumEu
64GadoliniumGd
65TerbiumTb
66DysprosiumDy
67HolmiumHo
68ErbiumEr
69ThuliumTm
70YtterbiumYb
71LutetiumLu
72HafniumHf
73TantalumTa
74WolframW
75RheniumRe
76OsmiumOs
77IridiumIr
78PlatinumPt
79GoldAu
80MercuryHg
81ThalliumTl
82LeadPb
83BismuthBi
84PoloniumPo
85AstatineAt
86RadonRn
87FranciumFr
88RadiumRa
89ActiniumAc
90ThoriumTh
91ProtactiniumPa
92UraniumU
(There's more!)
 
There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium,
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium,
Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium
And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium
And gold, protactinium and indium and gallium (inhale)
And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium.

There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium,
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium and barium.

(Isn't that interesting?
I knew you would.
I hope you're all taking notes, because there's gonna be
a short quiz next period.)

There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium
And phosphorous and francium and fluorine and terbium
And manganese and mercury, molybdinum, magnesium,
Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium
And lead, praseodymium, platinum, plutonium,
Paladium, promethium, potassium, polonium,
Tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium, (inhale)
And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium.

There's sulfur, californium and fermium, berkelium
And also mendelevium, einsteinium and nobelium
And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc and rhodium
And chlorine, cobalt, carbon, copper,
Tungsten, tin and sodium.

These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard,
And there may be many others but they haven't been discovered.

There are unstable elements beyond Uranium, but they don't occur naturally on Earth. I hope you don't find them, especially number 94 (Plutonium, Pu)! Here's a printable checklist so you can keep score. You can listen to Tom Leher if you have QuickTime installed!

Answer


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Copyright © 2000 by Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org