35 Replies Latest reply: Mar 13, 2014 10:16 AM by Min Lee RSS

What is your favorite element?

Mark Obrien

Please share your favorite element and explain why you like it the best.   Participate in this thread and we'll send you one of our 111 named element pins.  Sorry, no Copermicium.

 

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  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Wayne Wolsey

    My favorite element is nitrogen.

    I like the large number of oxidation states, NINE,--ranging from 5+ to 3-, and even includes a value of 1/3 minus, for the azide ion.  The redox chemistry is rather involved, but largely predictable.  As a former profesor of inorganic chemistry, my exams often included some equations to be completed and balanced from Group VA (now 15).

     

    Wayne Wolsey

    Professor Emeritus,

    Macalester College

    St. Paul, MN

  • What is your favorite element?
    Jhonatan Hernandez Valdes

    Hi, my favorite element is vanadium because it has a lot of colors depending of its oxidation state, for example +2 (lilac), +3 (green), +4 (blue) and +5 (yellow) and I really think that I like almost all the transition metals because its colour (generally due to electronic transitions).

  • What is your favorite element?
    Christine Bradford

    Hi,

     

    I think one of my favorite elements is probably Argon. It is totaly inert. How cool would it be to be unaffected by just about anything. And argon lets me do lots of cool reactions that would otherwise be impossible.

    • What is your favorite element?
      Robert Rich

      Christine, I couldn't agree more.  My uniform number on the "ACS Elements" softball team is 18 for argon.  As a pitcher, I aspire to complete inertness (i.e., unhittability) in the pitches I throw.  Argon is also great for protecting an organic reaction that is sensitive to oxygen or water.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Maysoon Al-Hafez

    Hello;

    when I first read the Q I couldn't think of ONE element as my favorite, but after thinking for a while I believe my favorites are Hydrogen & Oxygen. when they combine they make WATER, the source of life. but they also make FIRE (one burns & the other helps the fire, correct me if I'm wrong), this contradiction makes them special, yet they're avalible everywhere.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Cesar Monteza

    I think could be the Carbon, almost everywhere, millions of combinations, from the simple atom to macromolecules. You got it in any fashion you want: gaseous to liquids to solids, reduced in any combination with other elements.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Julia Makogon

    I like Argentum, this is the element thermal and electrical conductivity. Silver beautiful decorations

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Julia Makogon

    I like Argentum, this is the element thermal and electrical conductivity. Silver beautiful decorations

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Julia Makogon

    I like Argentum, this is the element thermal and electrical conductivity. Silver beautiful decorations

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Dean Markley

    My favorite element is Plutonium.  It has an infamous history of course but also has some of the oddest properties such as changing crystal structure with temperature and entering criticality.  The naming of plutonium is also fascinating as it logically followed uranium and neptunium.  With the demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet, plutonium joins cerium as the only elements named after dwarf planets!

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Ashley McKinney

    My favorite element is Curium because I love Madame Curie.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Christina Forbes

    Maybe my work has swayed me, but I'm a fan of sulfur. Versatile redox properties, nucleophilic champion, a mushier cousin of oxygen. You learn to not mind the smell.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Edward Partlow

    My favorite element by far is copper. As a metal is has so many uses, great conductor of heat and electricity, relatively non-reactive, and a staple metal in construction and engineering. The metal also has great physical qualities. It's the only non silver-gray metal besides gold in its pure form, and its color when freshly cut is a pinkish orange that is so lustrous, and even the slightly browned orange after exposed to air for a while looks very nice. And of course if left even longer, it turns a greenish blue famous in the statue of liberty. In addition, it has a wonderful blue color in solution, especially the amine complex, and crystallized copper sulfate is quite a great sight. This is why copper is, hands down, my favorite element.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Daniel Cook

    Got to say tungsten. While it may be a rather simple element compared to some, its strength and durabiliy make it a very useful element. It's alloys make many things possible. And lets not forget, without it you'd probably still be doing your reading by candlelight.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Solomon Derese

    My favorite element by far is carbon. It facinates me the way it forms chains like no other elements. it.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Kevin Arndt

    I would have to say Potassium. It plays such an important role in cellular chemistry and communications. There are lots of new discoveries being made about how ions work in the living system but we don't normally worry about getting enough in our foods as much as other vitamins and minerals.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Donnie Golden

    Argon

    Not necessarily for any of its properties but more for the memory it brings back. It reminds me of the semester I took Advanced Analytical with a solid group of friends from undergrad. Our instructor did MS work involving a collision cell. Many of his examples involved Argon, which became a running joke in the class. It reminds me of good times and the good bonds (pun intended) formed within the group.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    LISA CHEDID

    My favorite elements are lithium and carbon since they represent the first two letters of my first name and the the first letter of my last name.  Lithium is also cool because of all of the applications it is used for including batteries.  Carbon is my other favorite because it is the basis of all life!!!

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Patrick Braun

    It has to be Lead.  These days the most hated, but still one of the most useful.  Nothing comes close to it combined malleability and melting characteristics.  That's why industry has been having such a hard time getting away from using it.  Try to make a decent ammunition bullet without it, not been done yet.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Maria Perlas

    My favorite elements are Krypton, Iodine, Sulfur, Titanium, and Sodium.

     

    All of which spells my name.

     

    Carbon is nice too, me being Carbon-based and all...

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Khadija Jawad

    I adore all the first group elements for their flame test colors, their shininess in pure form, and their general incongruity in science and technology. But if I had to pick something other than those, it would be Manganese for its name.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Jeffrey Aplin

    There is a bit of story behind Osmium being my favorite.

     

    Upon joining the Chemistry Fraternity AXE as a grad student at UT Austin, we got to pick an element as our Frat nickname.  As an Organic Chemist, most of the obvious choices were taken so I perused the available options.  I noted the Os was still open and quickly realized that I could lay claim to being the Most Great and Powerful Os (making a spin off the movie the Wizard of Oz).  It has been a source of much amusement over the years.  I already have this element pin and wear it to select chemistry functions and end up telling the story often.

     

    Secondly, I would pick Bromine due to many years spent doing research in support of my company's flame retardants business.  I also have a Br element pin and wear it similarly as noted above.

     

    Todd

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Wayne Cook

    My favorite element is boron.  Boron has some metallic and some non-metallic properties.  I also wrote my dissertation on boron-nitrogen chemistry...

     

    Wayne L. Cook

    • Re: What is your favorite element?
      Khadija Jawad

      Boron is surprisingly necessary and interesting: in my bioinorganic class last year I chose to discuss boron's importance in plant cell walls as part of our end-of-semester presentation. This was because I love plants and because I didn't want to do the more obvious bioinorganic focus of metal-protein interactions. The experience is one of the few times I could make sense of biochemistry.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Anthony Webb

    Nuclear chemistry fascinates me, so I have to say plutonium.  Besides being infamous for its role in nuclear weapons (like the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, which used plutonium-239), it also has some strange properties.  For example, it shrinks as it gets hotter and conducts less heat or electricity than any other metal.  I also find radium very interesting because of the history behind it.  Marie and Pierre Curie first isolated it from uranium-laced ore in 1898, completely unaware of the negative health effects of the gamma rays and beta particles they were being exposed to.  High doses of radium were even used in several medical procedures during the first half of the 20th century.     

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Andres Tretiakov

    My favourite elements are Neodymium and Praseodymium used in the glassblower's didymium glasses and optical lenses in lasers.

    These glasses are used by glassblowers since they effectively filter out the characteristic sodium yellow glow emitted when heating glass containing sodium making their work easier and unobscured in the flame. Didymium was once thought to be one element but later discovered to be two: Praseodymium and Neodymium. Together they strongly absorb the two sodium yellow emission lines with wavelengths close to 590 nm.

     

    Here is a nice video done by Andrea Sella

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Stephen Griffin

    I am surprised that I am the first to nominate silicon (Si) as a favorite element, one without which this discussion would not likely take place. But is has other attributes beyond semiconductors. In contrast to the opacity (visible light) of the pure crystalline material, the oxide is one of the most transparent: quartz. If you agree, reply "Si"

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Maria Villegas

    Hydrogen,

    Mostly because of the many things we can get out of the samllest element. It continues to teach us so much today.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Samuel Mbugua

    how about sulfur or sulphur...Its chemistry is cool and without it where would we be with vulcanization of rubber?

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Vanraj Thakor

    It's Oxygen not only because it's necessary to every one....

     

    It's very important to me.. I'm working on Flavone derivatives against estrogen dependent cancer...

     

    So you can guess 'O' how much important to Flavone synthesis & Oxin steps...

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Robert Buntrock

    I believe I posted this answer previously when first asked, but I'll do it again.

    Since I'm three years on my second pacemaker (the first lasted 8 years-yay Medtronic) my favorite element is titanium (Ti).  Formerly used to make skins for high speed aircraft, it now keeps me and many others healthy.  Since the batteries last so long, I suppose that lithium (Li) is my second choice.

    Mark, this is first I've heard about the pin.  I anticipate a Ti pin shortly.

    -- Bob Buntrock

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Gregory Dobbs

    My favorite element is Gadolinium.  GD are my initials and Gd has a half-filled shell.  I did my thesis work on its crystal field splittings in rigorously zero magnetic field at liquid helium temperature.

  • Re: What is your favorite element?
    Min Lee

    Manganese is my favorite element because it has so many oxidation states +2, +3, +4, +6 and +7 and based on the number of charges to the Mn, the function of its element varies.