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What is the lightest element on the periodic table?

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Quick Answer

The lightest element on the periodic table is hydrogen. The atomic weight of hydrogen is 1.00794 and the atomic number is 1. Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the periodic table with 75 percent of the mass of the universe consisting of hydrogen.

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Full Answer

The first element on the periodic table is hydrogen. The physical form of this element at room temperature is a colorless and odorless gas. Hydrogen has multiple uses, however, hydrogen is commonly used for producing ammonia and processing fossil fuels. Hydrogen is important in the study of superconductivity and its liquid form is used in cryogenics. Other common applications of hydrogen include filling balloons, producing hydrochloric acid, producing rocket fuel and creating fuel cells.

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  • Q:

    Why is hydrogen a unique element?

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    Several qualities and characteristics make hydrogen unique: it is the lightest, simplest and most abundant chemical element in the world and is a key component in many consumer and industrial products. Hydrogen is among the most versatile elements as well because it has the ability to take the shape of a liquid, solid or gaseous substance. Hydrogen occurs virtually everywhere, including the water, surface of the Earth and the surrounding atmosphere.

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  • Q:

    Is table salt an element, compound or mixture?

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    Common table salt, without any of the extra ingredients that may be added to the retail food product, is a compound comprised of the metallic element sodium and the non-metallic element chlorine. The chemical name for pure table salt is sodium chloride, and it is represented by the chemical formula NaCl, which indicates that each molecule consists of one sodium atom bonded to a chlorine atom. Because the bond holding the two atoms together is an ionic bond, sodium chloride belongs to the class of chemical compounds called ionic salts or ionic compounds.

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  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the periodic table?

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    The periodic table was built to show the relationships among the various elements. The periodic table was constructed in 1869 by Dmitri Mendeleev.

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  • Q:

    Why was the periodic table invented?

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    The periodic table was invented by chemist Dmitri Mendeleev to organize and compare elements and understand their relations with each other. Mendeleev created the periodic table between 1868 and 1870 while writing his book titled "The Principles of Chemistry." Initially, Mendeleev created the chart for his personal benefit, but others quickly discovered its value, leading to its immediate acceptance and use by fellow chemists upon publication.

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