Chemical Elements

Since 1983, when I was in 8th grade and seen the periodic table for the first time, I have been collecting elements. It started as a collection of around 12 or 13 elements with puny samples stored either in medicine bottles or on a piece of notebook paper with the name scribbled on it. Later in 1988, my science teacher Mr. Howell, gave me a flier where I could order small samples of up to 57 elements from a company called Sci-Ed which no longer exists. My first order was for gallium and bismuth. I couldn't wait to see the metal that would melt in your hand - gallium. I got 10 grams at the time for around $20 and it took over 30 minutes to melt it in my hands. I later ordered more elements from Sci-Ed and bought light bulbs with gases like krypton and xenon from various stores. Over the next few years, my elements collection grew into 50 elements or more. I also contacted C.R. Hammond, the guy who wrote the element section in the CRC Handbook for Chemistry and he shipped a few tiny samples of platinum metals and lutetium. Later in the early 1990's I searched phone books in the public library to find company's that sold various elements and called several to see if they could spare samples, this added several more elements to my list including rare earths, germanium, and uranium. Also during this time I displayed the collection at Tyler Junior College (TJC) several times. In the early 2000's I ordered larger rare earth samples and other elements from Metallium and from a few other companies as well as element coins from Metallium. Recently I started back up to "Texas size" my collection and beefed up various transition metals and alkaline earths, ordering from Amazon and e-Bay. My collection currently has 84 elements, with thorium as my latest new element. I have also displayed them at TJC last February and June, first time in over 10 years, with more displays planned for the future.

This page will describe the elements from an element collector's perspective. I also added humorous nicknames in brackets to help describe them. For those I don't have in pure form and are radioactive, I'll use current knowledge to give a description of what this element might be like if it were stable and in large quantities - sad to say flerovium and oganesson are currently uncollectable - but what would they be like if they were stable and collectable, I'll use an educated attempt to describe them.

Element Display

Element List

1. Hydrogen (H) - [Explosive Balloon Gas] - Like many of the gaseous elements, hydrogen is colorless and odorless, but unlike the others, if you light a match near it - KABOOM - not quite as nice as helium. It is lighter than air and lighter than helium even. As for an element collection it is usually sealed in a glass tube. It can also be generated from water using electrolosis or dropping reactive metals like calcium in it.

2. Helium (He) - [Balloon Gas] - If it's in a balloon where it floats up in the air, it can bring much joy to kids, clowns, and people who want a squeaky voice by breathing it in. For an element collection, it is best stored in a glass tube where it looks like most the other gasses - like an empty sealed tube. My first sample was from a balloon where I released the helium into a glass bottle and later a larger plastic bottle, but it probably lost its purity over time, so I upgraded to a sealed tube. Light a match to helium, the match goes out.

3. Lithium (Li) - [Balsa Choke Metal] - Lithium is the lightest metal for it will float on water, then sizzle like crazy sending lithium hydroxide containing hydrogen fumes into the air nearly choking you unless you do this outside. It also floats in mineral oil which preserves it. Keep it out in the air and it will turn black and then crust away with off white oxides until nothing but yuck is left. It is also very soft, softer than indium and can be cut easily - unless the block is an inch thick and then it takes some effort. My first sample was a few grams worth and in 2017 I upgraded it to 50 grams which filled two baby food jars after I cut the block with sissors - this was a bit tough on the scissors and cracked the plastic handle but it did cut the lithium brick. Lithium can burst into flame if in contact with oxidizers or acids. I once put a drop of hydorchloric acid on a paper towel and put lithium on it and it caught fire. Be advised there is some lithium in your pocket right now - if you got your cell phone there, the lithium's in the battery.

4. Beryllium (Be) - [Petrified Aluminum] - It's hard, it's very light, and it can break if impacted really hard. It looks like aluminum but a tad darker and sometimes in broken forms. Polished areas look like mirrors, rough areas look greyish. What ever you do, dont grind it to powder near a fan blowing towards you - or you're dead. It's very toxic to the lungs in powder form, but is much safer in solid forms.

5. Boron (B) - crystalline [Glass Scratch], amorphous [Talcum Dirt] - Crystalline boron is hard enough to scratch glass. It is a dark grey colored ceramic like substance that can have some shiny smooth areas and dull rough areas. It can break with a good smack with a hammer. It is also light weight and rather expensive. The amorphous form is much cheaper and feels like talcum powder and looks like dirt. It is very light and likes to clump up into small spheres when its container is moved gently. It can sometimes be in chunk form, but it is very powdery and messy. It smells like burnt Easter egg dye. It's atoms form many icosahedra, so if you have some you can say that you have quintillions of tiny icosahedra.

6. Carbon (C) - graphite [Pencil Lead], diamond [Glory Crystal], amorphous [Burnt Wood], glassy [Black Plastic Glass] - Carbon has all sorts of forms. Graphite is the stuff found in pencil lead, so you can write with it. It can put shiny grey marks on paper and is quite brittle. It is a black ceramic like material that has a dry but lubed feel about it. Diamond is a very hard transparent gemstone like substance that can cut glass. It can take on a yellowish gold color if it contains traces of nitrogen. It is very expensive in gemstone quality form, but is quite affordable in grit or powder form which looks like golden glitter from a distance. In grit or powder form it is used for grind wheels or polishers. Amorphous carbon can be any non-crystalline form or a mix of other forms and has different forms such as charcoal from burnt embers to soot to coal which isn't very pure. I currently have some shiny coal like pieces which are fairly rigid which resemble a shiny brittle black plastic. Glassy carbon is harder than graphite and resembles very shiny black 'plastic-glass-ceramic'. Fullerenes look like soot. There are several other forms also.

7. Nitrogen (N) - [Purified Air] - Breath in, breath out, nitrogen is all around you and now inside your lungs. Want a 79% pure sample, just grab any empty container and there it is - the air is mainly nitrogen. Pure nitrogen can be obtained inside a sealed tube and looks like an empty glass tube. In liquid form it is more interesting, it looks like cold fuming water, VERY cold fuming water.

8. Oxygen (O) - O2[Breathable Gas], Ozone [Electric Smelling Gas] - 20% of the air contains oxygen, the stuff you need to breathe in or you die. Fire needs oxygen also and pure oxygen can cause fires to get more intense. For an element collection, it can be stored in a sealed tube and looks like many other gases - invisible. Liquid oxygen has a pale blue color though. Ozone has three oxygen atoms in their molecules and has an electric odor to it - actually the electricity usualy form small amounts of ozone causing the odor. Liquid ozone has a deep indigo blue color.

9. Fluorine (F) - [Fire Hazard Gas] - Fluorine will react with nearly anything, usually by catching them on fire. A tube of pure fluorine will take on a very pale green color and it will start reacting with the glass itself. It is usually obtained by element collectors by 'watering' it down with helium so it wont eat through the glass or in the mineral fluorite.

10. Neon (Ne) - [Orange Light Gas] - Neon sometimes means fluorescent or bright as in colors, this is due to the bright orange color of neon light which are tubes of electrically charged neon gas. If neon isn't electrically charged, it looks no different than any other inert gas - looks like an empty tube yet again. It is also lighter than air and heavier than helium, so a neon balloon will barely float up and make you have a slightly high pitched voice if breathed in - no need to worry, it is as harmless as helium.

11. Sodium (Na) - [Explosive Fire Wax Metal] - Sodium is a silvery white metal which takes on a slight flesh color tint when it oxidizes. It is as light and as soft as wax - just dont chew on the stuff. When a piece is thrown in water, it sizzles, sparks, bursts into flame, and explodes - in other words, it would be a bad idea for making a boat out of it. It is usually stored in mineral oil or sealed under argon to keep it from corroding away. And just think, the salt you sprinkle on your fries has sodium in it, but it is compounded with the poisonous gas chlorine to make it safe to eat.

12. Magnesium (Mg) - [Flammable Aluminum] - This metal is light weight and light colored and is a lot like aluminum except that it will slowly oxidize and get gritty feeling due to the white oxide coating. Shavings of it will ignite with a brilliant white light when exposed to spark or flame. It can also be moved with a strong neodymium magnet, but it is not attracted to it.

13. Aluminum (Al) - [Light Weight Silver] - Aluminum is light weight and bright colored and is one of the whitest metals there is. It can stay shiny in air or water, but add a bit of mercury or gallium and it's ruined. It is used in cans, pans, bats, foil, and many other things - it's just everywhere but usually in alloys. It can also be moved around by a neo-magnet but is not attracted to it. It was once more expensive than gold back in the 1800's and is now one of the least expensive metals now - now where is my time machine so I can sell some back in the old west.

14. Silicon (Si) - [Dark Light Shiny Rock] - Silicon is a cool (slightly bluish) grey, light weight, shiny, metallic looking substance that is as hard and as breakable as quartz which is silicon oxide. It even feels a bit like quarts, tastes like it too. It comes in polycrystalline and monocrystalline forms, the former is rougher looking while the later is quite slick and shiny. Silicon not only makes a cool element sample, but also fits right in with a mineral collection due to it's near inertness and crystalline structure. It's quite safe to handle also.

15. Phosphorus (P) - white [Napalm Wax of Death], red [Match Powder], violet [], black [Expensive Graphite] - picture a translucent yellow wax like substance with a whitish coating that is stored in water and when it is pulled out, it starts smoking and the poisonous smoke smells like stale urine, then the 'wax' catches on fire and melts turning into napalm - THAT is white phosphorus, it also glows in the dark when exposed to air. On a nicer note, the molecules look like tetrahedra. Red phosphorus is a dark red to maroon colored powdery substance with a slight glittery look to it. It smells like spoiled asperagus and has a vinegar taste to it. If it has impurities, it can absorb moisture and turn mud-like. Violet (Hittorf phosphorus) looks like the red form, but slightly more violet and is usually in a more solid form. The black form is more like graphite but with a very slight bluish tone, it is VERY expensive unless you only get a tiny piece of it.

16. Sulfur (S) - [Yellow Match Rock] - It is a bright yellow crispy brittle material that smells like matches. It can tarnish a variety of metals including silver. It is also called brimstone and is flamable. When heated, it will melt and turn to an orange liquid that thickens to a black smoldering sludge near the boiling point which catches fire and produces sulfur dioxide smoke. Put a piece of sulfur next to a lit candle and you could call it 'fire and brimstone'.

17. Chlorine (Cl) - [Cleaning Death Gas] - AH, finally a gas that is not clear - it has a yellowish color. In low concentrations, it smells like a swimming pool. Pure chlorine will have an intense bleach odor that could wreck havoc to your nose and throat and is quite toxic. It can also be pressurized into a bright yellow transparent liquid at room temp and can be bought like this for an element collection (I have yet to get it in this form). Chlorine is quite corrosive to most metals.

18. Argon (Ar) - [the Perfect Storage Gas] - Of course, another transparent colorless gas that looks just like air in a tube, it is even more like air due to its weight being nearly the same, but it is totally inert and is used to seal up reactive elements like cesium. When electrified, it takes on a bluish white color. You are now breathing some argon as we speak, for 1% of the air is argon. If you had an argon balloon and breathed it in like helium, you would sound exactly the same as you normally do.

19. Potassium (K) - [Marshmellows From Hell] - potassium has a lead like color, but is quite light weight - like marshmellows. When cut, it has a shiny metallic lavender color. It feels like cutting into a stale marshmellow also, sort of like those Circus Peanuts. The shiny surface will dull quickly. It is usually stored under mineral oil to keep it or under argon. Potassium will generate white flaky oxides and/or coppery gold and bluish black colored oxides and yellowish superoxides which are dangerous to cut. If placed in water, it's not 'nice' like sodium which gives you a chance to back away, potassium will burst into flame instantly and explode without warning. Potassium can be smeared like butter. Smear it on a paper towel and it will burst into flame, spread it onto toast and you will have the most dangerous piece of toast ever complete with bluish flames - just don't eat it or it'll explode. Potassium is barely heavier than mineral oil and it simply glides around in it. Fun fact, it is also radioactive due to one of the natural isotopes. Just think, this stuff is in bananas, but in a much safer compound form.

20. Calcium (Ca) - [Sizzling Lime Metal] - calcium is a lightweight metal like magnesium that can be broken by trying to bend it a few times. It is warm to the touch due to it heating up when reacting with any moisture in the air. When cut, it is quite shiny, it will oxidize in the air by turning dark and then generating a white flaky oxide. It needs to be stored under mineral oil or it will turn into a chalky flakey white residue in a few days or weeks. When place in water, it will slowly start to react forming hydrogen bubbles and then start to sizzle across the top forming a grey foaming mess on top resembling that Gremlin when it was exposed to sun light at the end of the movie. If the calcium is removed from the water while reacting, it will sizzle away the moisture until it is dry with a white coating and hydrogen smoke carrying away some oxide as the metal heats up like a hot potato. Calcium under oil will eventually grow a warm-greyish "shell" to protect it, making it harder to react with water. It's not quite as hard as aluminum, but harder than the soft metals (i.e. tin, bismuth, etc.).

21. Scandium (Sc) - [Darth Aluminum] - scandium is as light as aluminum and is as hard as iron. It slowly tarnishes to an aged bronze appearance which may have darker streaks giving it a somewhat strange appearance. It's also quite expensive, nearly $10 per gram.

22. Titanium (Ti) - [Futuristic Metal] -

23. Vanadium (V) - [Strange Blue Metal] -

24. Chromium (Cr) - [Rock Silver] -

25. Manganese (Mn) - [Rustable Rock Metal] -

26. Iron (Fe) - [Plain Ol' Magnetic Metal] -

27. Cobalt (Co) - [Iron II] -

28. Nickel (Ni) - [Non-Rust Iron] -

29. Copper (Cu) - [Orange Metal] - copper is a beautiful shiny orange metal which can tarnish to a brownish color and corrode with a greenish blue residue in harsh conditions. When tarnished or slightly corroded, it has a very bitter taste sort of like pennies - obviously. It is a great conductor of electricity and can be moved around by a powerful magnet, but not attracted to it.

30. Zinc (Zn) - [The Other White Metal] - zinc is a silvery white metal with a slight bluish tinge. It's a bit harder than aluminum. It will slowly develop a light grey coating. It's 'semi-brittle' in other words it bends a little bit before breaking. It is the primary metal used in pennies and in die-cast metal.

31. Gallium (Ga) - [Liquid Terminator Metal] - this is one strange metal, if you hold it for a while, it will start to melt like chocolate. It's quite messy also, turning your hands to a dark grey color with a metallic sheen. In liquid form, it looks like a cross between silver paint and mercury. Good thing it's not toxic, but it can mess aluminum up pretty bad. It makes a screechy sound when scratched or bent, but right before metal, it becomes quite fragile. When cold, it takes on a slightly bluish color, otherwise it has a tin like color, just a tad darker. It also expands when freezing which can crack glass containers, best to store in plastic. It is becoming quite the novelty and is gaining fame due to this low melting property, usually cast into spoons for a prank. It does take a while to melt in the hand, usually about half an hour to completely melt a half ounce of it. It also takes a good while to freeze in the freezer. It also takes on a noticeable sweet metallic odor when handled. The price of it has decreased significantly and can be bought on Amazon for around $26 per 100 grams.

32. Germanium (Ge) - [Glass Metal] - germanium is a silvery greyish metal with a very slight yellow-greenish cast to it. Some surfaces can be as shiny as mirrors. It can break as easily as glass and is about as hard. It feels light compaired to most metals. It's also slick to the touch - sort of glass like. It's usually considered as a semi-metal and is a semi-conductor.

33. Arsenic (As) - [Dark Deadly Cement] - imagine a cement like substance that has crystalline structure and is a dark grey color - and is quite poisonous - that's what arsenic is like. It is quite fragile and some pieces may show a slight sheen to them, while others have a duller dry look. Arsenic in elemental form isn't as toxic as are the compounds which can be lethal.

34. Selenium (Se) - [Vulcanic Glass Wannabe] - selenium is a fragile black shiny ceramic like material that resembles volcanic glass. It can mark paper with reddish marks. It is also transparent in the infrared frequencies used by remotes, i.e. you can operate your TV with a remote blocked by selenium. It also has a slick feel to it and can be melted at 430F. There's also a red form and a grey form. The main form is the black vitreous form.

35. Bromine (Br) - [Liquid Halloween] - imagine a blackish liquid with a hint of blood color that has Halloween orange fumes coming off it that can excape most containers and corrode things. Now imagine that this liquid can destroy most things and even catch some metals on fire. Now picture it being very damaging to skin by staining it brown and puffing it up in deformed ways - THAT is bromine - quite scary stuff. It is best to have it sealed in an ampoule.

36. Krypton (Kr) - [Heavy Argon] - not to be confused with Superman's home world, this inert gas is yet another element that resembles an empty container. Unlike kryptonite, it is quite harmless. It is a bit heavier than air, so if it got breathed in, it will give you a slightly deeper voice. It can react with fluorine if forced.

37. Rubidium (Rb) - [Flash Fire Silver Butter] - while in an ampoule, it looks like a bright silvery white metal that could melt in a hot car. It is soft as cold butter. When the vial breaks, it bursts into flame and would flash-fire-explode in water. If stored in mineral oil, it would generate oxides, peroxides, and superoxides which would be very dangerous to cut into.

38. Strontium (Sr) - [Calcium's Brother] - like calcium, it will react with water by sizzling around in it producing hydrogen. If left in air, it will oxidize away into a pile of crusty white flakes. It can be ignited producing a red flame. It strongly resembles calcium, but is a bit heavier and reacts with water a bit faster. Compounds of strontium are used in red fire works and those black ceramic magnets.

39. Yttrium (Y) - [Aluminum From Mars]

40. Zirconium (Zr) - [Light Steel]

41. Niobium (Nb) - [Affordable Jewelry Metal]

42. Molybdenum (Mo) - [Heavy Steel]

43. Technetium (Tc) - [Radioactive Surgical Steel]

44. Ruthenium (Ru) - [Tough Mirror Metal]

45. Rhodium (Rh) - [Precious Mirror Metal]

46. Palladium (Pd) - [Platinum Light]

47. Silver (Ag) - [Money Metal] -

48. Cadmium (Cd) - [Poisonous Zinc] -

49. Indium (In) - [Chewing Metal] - usually when you think of metals, the term 'chewable' doesn't come to mind. Indium is that soft and it's not toxic like lead, which is also soft but not as soft as indium. Indium is also a bright shiny metal like aluminum or silver, although it can leave grey marks on your hands and paper due to its softness. If you smash two pieces of indium together and twist, the pieces will fuse together. When handled, it takes on a noticeable odor similar to tin.

50. Tin (Sn) - [Purified Solder] - tin is a really nice metal to melt on the stove. It is shiny unlike lead and has a nice hardness, softer than aluminum and harder than lead. It is used in solder. If left in the cold for too long, it will slowly turn grey due to forming grey tin on the surface. Grey tin is another allotrope which looks like tin, but is brittle. Tin also takes on a sharp sweet-sour metallic odor when rubbed - I call this the 'stannous smell'.

51. Antimony (Sb) - [Brittle Chrome] - antimony is a very shiny bright silvery white semi-metal which is very brittle. Although its compounds are quite toxic, the metal isn't so bad. Pieces of antimony usually have a lot of crystalline structure to it which makes it quite beautiful. It can be alloyed with soft metals like lead or tin.

52. Tellurium (Te) - [Brittle Chrome II] - slightly darker than antimony, tellurium is a silvery grey semi-metal that is very brittle and takes on a crystal filled appearance when broken. It may also have a very slight bluish-gold iridescence to it. Molded parts of it take on a much duller grey color. Although it looks good enough to eat, better not munch down or you'll smell like you took a nose dive into the Bog of Eternal Stench.

53. Iodine (I) - [Purple Pungent Staining Crystals] - iodine form shiny black crystals which have a hint of purple as well as faint purple vapors. It can stain many surfaces with a rusty brown color including skin and it corrodes many metals. Iodine vapors can even escape containers and deposit mushy crystals near the lids of the containers probably due to absorbing moisture. You may even see purple and brownish drip paths forming inside the bottle. Iodine will even deposit within the crystals to turn them into a solid mass. You will likely see brown stains surrounding the iodine bottle. It has a pungent odor and is quite strong, but not as much as bromine. When heated, the vapors are quite visible and take on a strong purple color. Liquid iodine looks like purple bromine. When desolved in isopropal alcohol, it becomes tincture of iodine which can be used as an antiseptic.

54. Xenon (Xe) - [Monster Voice Gas] - xenon can be thought of as the un-helium. It is like helium in its inertness, invisible appearance, odorlessness, and non-toxicity. But, it is much heavier than air and if breathed in, you would sound like a monster instead of a chipmonk, for it makes the voice deeper. A xenon balloon would fall down quite fast and may feel strangely heavy for a balloon - it may set you back some money also, for xenon is quite expensive. It can become liquid at room temperature if pressurized. Xenon also forms compounds with fluorine, but doesn't like to stay in compound forms.

55. Cesium (Cs) - [Flash Fire Gold Butter] - gallium's not the only metal that'll melt in the hand. While in an ampoule, cesium looks like a golden light weight metal, it is as soft as butter. It will melt rapidly when the ampoule is held turning it into what resembles liquid gold, this is quite nice as long as the ampoule doesn't break. If you try to melt cesium in your hand without the ampoule - aka - bare turkey, it will likely melt your hand also, for it will ignite in air like a bunch of fireworks and will explode in a flash when it contacts water forming cesium hydroxide which can disolve glass - friendly stuff :P.

56. Barium (Ba) - [Poisonous Sizzler] - barium is a lot like calcium and strontium, but a bit heavier and reacts a bit faster in water. It needs to be stored in oil and resembles old rubber in appearance due to the dark grey tarnish and the bluish grey-white oxide. When pure, it looks more silvery white with a slight warm tint. It's also somewhat toxic.

57. Lanthanum (La) - [Snowy Mountain Metal]

58. Cerium (Ce) - [Ol' Sparky]

59. Praseodymium (Pr) - [Ugly Green Ruster]

60. Neodymium (Nd) - [Lavender Rusting Metal]

61. Promethium (Pm) - [Radioactive Rusting Metal]

62. Samarium (Sm) - [Turn to Chalk Metal]

63. Europium (Eu) - [Iridiscent Sizzling Lead]

64. Gadolinium (Gd) - [Rare Earth Gun Metal]

65. Terbium (Tb) - [Gadolinium II]

66. Dysprosium (Dy) - [Darker Gun Metal]

67. Holmium (Ho) - [Petrified Lead]

68. Erbium (Er) - [Barely Magnetic Metal]

69. Thulium (Tm) - [Patheticly Magnetic Iron]

70. Ytterbium (Yb) - [Darth Zinc]

71. Lutetium (Lu) - [Darth Metal, Just Plain Weird Darth Metal]

72. Hafnium (Hf) - [Bright Heavy Steel]

73. Tantalum (Ta) - [Heavy Surgical Steel]

74. Tungsten (W) - [Gritty Heavy Steel]

75. Rhenium (Re) - [Heavy Surgical Steel]

76. Osmium (Os) - [Slick Blue Heavy Metal]

77. Iridium (Ir) - [Heavy Mirror Metal]

78. Platinum (Pt) - [Traditional Precious Metal]

79. Gold (Au) - [Ultimate Yellow Money Metal] - gold is the shiny yellow expensive heavy metal that everyone wants to have. It is a great conductor of electricity and is highly malleable, i.e it can be hammered into thin sheets. It's harder than aluminum, but softer than copper. Along with copper, it is one of the two strongest colored metals. It can be dragged with a strong magnet due to eddie currents.

80. Mercury (Hg) - [Liquid Metal] - mercury is THE liquid metal. It is heavier than lead and therefore iron can float in it. A full bottle of it feels shockingly heavy and the mercury can be splashed around in the bottle. It is one freaky metal. Small beads of it will fuse together into larger beads and it is impossible to pick up with bare hands due to how slippery it is. It doesn't wet surfaces except for some metals which it will mix with, like gold, lead, and tin. It can flow quite quickly and spatter into tiny beads when it hits the floor. Due to it's toxicity, if it spills, it needs to be cleaned up using sulfur powder. Solid mercury has a silvery white cadmium like appearance which will crust over with fuming ice due to the cold temps, it will quickly melt.

81. Thallium (Tl) - [Lead From Hell] - lets reflect on the elements in this group - boron, hard enough to cut glass - aluminum, nice metal to make cooking utensils out of - gallium, a novelty metal that can melt in your hand - indium, a shiny metal you can chew on - thallium, umm, oh crap, chew on it and you die!!! right after all your hair falls out and your fingernails too - quite narsty yoit! Unlike the MUCH nicer indium, thallium can corrode into a horrible looking thing with a crusty dark greyish brown shell of lethal oxides. When pure, it looks somewhat like indium and is as soft and as heavy as lead. It is sometimes stored under mineral oil to keep it shiny, but may not be needed (my small sample is simply stored in a bottle).

82. Lead (Pb) - [Easy to Bend Heavy Metal] - three words that fit lead are dull, soft, and heavy. Bars of lead are quite easy to bend. Lead is heavier than most metals, but no where near the weight of tungsten or gold. When cut, it has a shiny silvery cool grey color, but it will get a dull grey coating over time. It is used in various weights, like fishing weights. Lead is toxic, but no where near the level of thallium, so handling it won't make you sick - just don't drink out of lead cups.

83. Bismuth (Bi) - [Heavenly Lead] - bismuth feels very slick to the touch and can break if dropped revealing beautiful crystals. It has a silvery pinkish grey color and is non-toxic. It is quite heavy also and is a great replacement for lead weights. It can crystalized from molten form to form beautiful bluish iridescent squarish crystals. It is as soft as tin and can be scratched slightly by a fingernail. It may turn somewhat darker over time, but remains shiny.

84. Polonium (Po) - [Bluish Nuclear Bismuth] - OK, what is the deal with polonium? Look at any chart of nucleides color coded to half lifes and notice the nice trend of stable isotopes. Notice that even atomic numbers have more stable isotopes than adjacent odd ones. Notice the path of stable isotopes as it goes to lead, then bismuth (not totally stable, but stable enough), then when you get to polonium the half-lifes drops to MICROSECONDS! - WHAT HAPPENED!!! The most stable isotopes of polonium are on the low end of the 'stable path' and the most unstable ones are right in the middle of it. This polonium 'plague' wiped out the 'stable path' of all the elements from polonium to actinium - if anyone knows why, e-mail me - I haven't found any explanation for this on-line. As for the element itself, it is extremely toxic due to radioactivity (a quarter million times more toxic than cyanide). It is described as being similar to bismuth, but bluer. If it were stable, it would likely be quite a stunning metal that would break into crystalline pieces if dropped similar to bismuth but bluer.

85. Astatine (At) - [Nuclear Iodine] - if it weren't for the 'polonium plague', astatine may of had a stable isotope, but because of the plague, it's longest lived isotope has a half-life of over eight hours. So if it could be amassed, it would be so radioactive that it would vaporize. If it were stable, it would likely be a shiny black crystalline material with slightly dark fumes similar to iodine, but less volatile. It would likely have a pungent odor like a milder version of iodine.

86. Radon (Rn) - [Inert Gas of Death] - a radon balloon would likely glow in the dark and the heat formed by the radiation would burst the balloon, lets just hope nobody is around it to breath it in. If it was stable, then it would be as harmless as xenon and look like it too and it would be heavier. It can also form compounds with fluorine. But due to its radioactivity, if you breathed this gas in like helium, you would talk in a deep monster voice as you die of radioactive poisoning caused by the polonium, francium, and astatine forming in your lungs.

87. Francium (Fr) - [Instant Apocalypse] - alkali metals are usually dangerous, francium is a whole other ball game. One gram stored in an ampoule will not only melt above room temperature, but due to its radiation, it will melt the ampoule and glow with a brilliant light and get hot enough to vaporize. It will catch fire with exposure to air sort of like cesium, but it will also kill everyone in the room due to radiation - horrible stuff. But no need to worry, only a few hundred thousand atoms have ever been accumulated at one time. If it could be made stable, it will be no more hazardous than rubidium or cesium and would be quite similar, but would likely be liquid at room temperature. I'm not quite sure if it will be silvery white or take on a more interesting color. It will also react explosively with water.

88. Radium (Ra) - [Radioactive Sizzler] - radium is usually never available in pure form, but only as the paint on old watch hands. Pure radium will be a lot like strontium or barium, except it will be dangerously radioactive. If it wasn't for the radiation, it could be stored in mineral oil to keep it from oxidizing. It would also sizzle in water.

89. Actinium (Ac) - [Glowing Blue Metal of Death]

90. Thorium (Th) - [Almost Impossible to Get Metal]

91. Protactinium (Pa) - []

92. Uranium (U) - [Radioactive Tungsten]

93. Neptunium (Np) - []

94. Plutonium (Pu) - [the T-Rex of Elements]

95. Americium (Am) - [Household Radioactive Metal]

96. Curium (Cm) - []

97. Berkelium (Bk) - []

98. Californium (Cf) - []

99. Einsteinium (Es) - []

100. Fermium (Fm) - []

101. Mendelevium (Md) - []

102. Nobelium (No) - []

103. Lawrencium (Lr) - []

104. Rutherfordium (Rf) - []

105. Dubnium (Db) - []

106. Seaborgium (Sg) - []

107. Bohrium (Bh) - []

108. Hassium (Hs) - [the Ultimate Heavy Metal]

109. Meitnerium (Mt) - []

110. Darmstadtium (Ds) - [Super Platinum]

111. Roentgenium (Rg) - [Beyond Gold] - only a few atoms of this radioactive metal has been made. It has been suggested that it wouldn't have a gold color like its relative gold and would have a more silvery color. It would likely resemble a super heavy silver and be a great conductor of heat and electricity. Imagine how valuable a roentgenium coin would be.

112. Copernicium (Cn) - [Hyper Mercury] - only a few atoms have been made of this highly radioactive metal. It is unknown, if it is a liquid or a gas. If it were stable, it may resemble a very shiny and tungsten heavy mercury which could slowly vaporize. It may have a low enough boiling point that it could boil in your hand. If its boiling point is low enough, it may even be a heavy gas at room temp which could turn into liquid at a high pressure. It is suggested to be unreactive.

113. Nihonium (Nh) - [Heavy Tin] - this element is highly radioactive and only a few atoms has been produced. If it were stable, it would likely resemble tin or bismuth, but much heavier. It should be less reactive than thallium and would likely stay untarnished in air like indium.

114. Flerovium (Fl) - [Heavy Putty Metal] - this element is highly reactive and only a few atoms has been produced. It was once thought that it would mimic the inert gases. It is unknown if it would be solid, liquid, or gas at room temp. If it were stable, I suspect that it would be a very soft shiny metal with a density similar to tantalum. Imagine a metal that doesn't tarnish, but is soft enough to squish between your fingers - this could be what flerovium is like. I once called this element 'periodicium'.

115. Moscovium (Ms) - [Reactive Bismuth] - due to flerovium's near inertness, it is suggested that moscovium would be reactive. It may resemble thallium more than bismuth and may need to be stored in oil, that is if it could be made stable. It may be less brittle than bismuth. Only a few atoms has been made of this highly radioactive metal.

116. Livermorium (Lv) - [Heavy Bismuth] - it is highly radioactive and only a few atoms have been made. If it were stable, it may have some bismuth or lead like properties. It is likely brittle like bismuth.

117. Tennessine (Ts) - [Metallic Iodine] - only a few atoms has been made of this highly radioactive element. If it were stable, it may have two allotropes, one would be diatomic and the other monatomic. The diatomic form would likely be a dark colored brittle substance with a slight pungent smell and be non-metallic. The monatomic form may be metallic and resemble tellurium.

118. Oganesson (Og) - [Almost Inert Solid] - only a few atoms has been made of this radioactive element. It has been suggested that this element is a solid and would be somewhat active, unlike other elements in this group. My guess is that it would resemble ice in appearance with a slight metallic sheen and a high index of refraction. It is likely brittle and may react with harsh chemicals, but remain unreactive with air and water.

Portable Element Collection
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