- Actinium glows blue in the dark.
- An isotope of actinium is being researched for potential chemotherapy treatments.
- Ironically, if ingested, it could also cause cancer (it is radioactive, after all!).
- Due to its high production of neutrons, it is used in research.
- It is the third most abundant element on Earth (after oxygen and silicon)
- On its own, it’s pretty useless (and very rare), but in compounds, it’s the most used metal in the world (without iron in it).
- It was once more expensive than gold or silver.
- The spelling “aluminum” is fairly exclusive to the US-everywhere else calls it “aluminium,” as that was how its discoverer named it.
- It doesn’t rust, but forms a transparent oxide (called corundum) that is one of the hardest known substances in existence.
- It was made (and first discovered) as a by-product of the Manhattan Project.
- Smoke detectors use it.
- Lead antimony compounds are used in bullets.
- Batteries, flame-proof materials, and glass use it.
- The ancient Egyptians even used a compound of antimony for mascara.
- It is used in electronics.
- It gives a sky blue glow when a current passes through it.
- Used in nearly every neon light.
- It is the third most prevalent gas in the atmosphere.
- It displaces oxygen, making it useful in preserving documents and helping incandescent bulb filaments last longer (by keeping them from oxidizing).
- Oxidized arsenic smells like garlic.
- It is used as a pesticide.
- Though arsenic is toxic, it can be used for cancer treatment (specifically, acute promyelocytic leukemia).
- It is hypothesized that less than an ounce exists worldwide.
- Astatine is the rarest naturally occurring element on Earth.
- It decays so quickly, that it cannot be seen with the naked eye (as it would appear to vanish!).
- It has a half-life of 8.3 hours.
- Some barium compounds give off a green flame.
- Breathing barium dust can damage the lungs.
- It is commonly used in vacuum tubes.
- Used to increase contrast in the digestive system for x-ray imaging.
- It tends to accumulate in the skeletal system, as with other actinide elements.
- Berkelium (named after Berkeley, California) is produced from Americium.
- It’s used only for research.
- Beryllium was once called glucine due to the fact that its salts taste sweet.
- Cell phones are partly made with beryllium.
- It is stronger than steel.
- It is one of the lightest elements.
- Beryllium melts at about 2,350 °F (about 1290 °C).
- Tools are made with beryllium to prevent sparking.
- Pepto-Bismol is 57% bismuth.
- Its radioactivity is so small it is completely negligible.
- It is the heaviest stable (non-radioactive) element.
- Its half-life is 1.9 x 1019 years, the longest non-theorized half-life of any other element.
- It’s named after Niels Bohr.
- There isn’t much information on it due to its short half-life (the most stable isotope’s half-life is about 61 seconds).
- It’s the main ingredient in oobleck.
- A common compound with boron is borax.
- Boron is necessary in plant growth.
- It burns bright green.
- It’s added to glass to make it stronger against thermal shock.
- It has a Mohs hardness of 9.5 (compare to diamond with a hardness of 10).