Many of the elements in the periodic table are of Latin or Greek origin, but four are named after heavenly bodies: uranium, neptunium, tellurium (named for "tellus," the Latin word for Earth) and plutonium. Some elements that appear to be named after planets actually are named for Greek or Latin deities. One example is mercury, which is named after Mercury, the Roman messenger of the gods.Continue Reading
It must be noted that most planets are named after Greek or Latin gods. Plutonium is named after the dwarf planet Pluto. Originally considered a major planet in the solar system, Pluto was named after the Greek god Pluto, the ruler of the underworld.
Neptunium takes its name from Neptune, the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun, which is named after the Roman god of the sea. Tellurium derives its name from the word "tellus," which means Earth in Latin. Tellurium, however, is far more common in space than it is on Earth.
Elements named after other heavenly bodies include helium, after the Greek word "hellos," meaning "sun"; selenium, from the Greek "selene," which means "moon"; cerium, named after Ceres, the largest orbiting asteroid between Mars and Jupiter; and palladium, which takes its name from the asteroid Pallas.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
Alkaline earth metals, the elements in the second column of the periodic table, are the most likely elements to lose two electrons in chemical reactions. They include beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. It is important to note, however, that beryllium varies greatly from the other alkaline earth metals, and despite having only two electrons in its outer valence shell, it does not readily lose electrons in reactions.Full Answer >
The periodic table classifies chemical elements by their similarities and properties. Each square in the periodic table shows an element's atomic number, its symbol, its name and its atomic weight, which is the number of protons and neutrons the element has.Full Answer >
The periodic table can be filled by tabulating elements in order of increasing atomic number. This method was first devised by Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleev in 1869 and has been used in physical and chemical science since.Full Answer >
Mendeleev left gaps in his periodic table because the properties of known elements predicted other, as-yet-undiscovered, elements in these locations. As Mendeleev organized his periodic table, he recognized that these gaps would be filled as future scientists identified new elements.Full Answer >