This Interactive Periodic Table Reveals How Each Element Can Be Used


A new periodic table developed by online educators allows users to become more familiar with different elements by showing them how each one can be used in practical applications.

Keith Enevoldsen from created the interactive periodic table to help students understand more about every element that has been discovered so far.

Aside from presenting the chemical symbols and atomic numbers for each element, the new tabulation also shows what a particular element is commonly used for.

Interactive Periodic Table

Helium (He), for example, is often used to make party balloons float, but this popular inert gas can also be found in lasers and supercold refrigerants. It's also known to fuel the nuclear fusion necessary to keep the sun and stars burning in space.

Another well-known element is manganese (Mn), which is used to produce highly durable steel. This metal is used to make machinery for moving earth and crushing rocks, but some traces of it can also be found in the gemstone amethyst.

Enevoldsen's periodic table also presents what lesser known elements can do.

The soft, reactive metal rubidium (Rb) may not be as popular as other alkali metals such as sodium, potassium, or even lithium, but it is often used these days to build atomic clocks as well as global navigation devices such as GPS.

Krypton (Kr), the namesake of Superman's doomed homeworld, is an inert gas valued for producing flashlights, headlights and high-intensity lamps.

Some modern-day trains are fitted with niobium (Nb) to help keep them levitated on their tracks. The element is also used as magnets for MRIs in hospitals.

The patriotic-sounding americium (Am) is shown to be used for smoke detectors and sheet thickness gauges. Discovered during the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, this element cannot be found in nature. It is produced only by bombarding plutonium with neurons inside a nuclear reactor.

Americium's fellow actinide metal californium (Cf), on the other hand, can be found in mineral analyzers and other scientific instruments.

Practical uses for super-heavy elements, such as rutherfordium (Rf), seaborgium (Sg), hassium (Hs), copernicium (Cn) and dubnium (Db), are not featured in the new periodic table. These short-lived radioactive elements cannot be found in nature and are considered to be used mainly for atomic research.

Nihonium (Nh), tennessine (Ts), oganesson (Og) and moscovium (Mc), four members of the periodic table that were given new names by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) this year, are all super-heavy elements.

Users can download a PDF version of Enevoldsen's new periodic table from This can be used to teach a class or just to have a cool-looking periodic table handy.

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