Classic Chemistry as a Catalyst to Human Life

(The Wonder World of Elements)

New disciplines have continued to form within philosophy of science, including philosophy of physics, biology, psychology, social science and economics. One notable exception until recently was the philosophy of chemistry. New disciplines have continued to form within philosophy of science, including philosophy of physics, biology, psychology, social science and economics. One notable exception until recently was the philosophy of chemistry

The language of chemistry and the question of representation in chemistry are areas which continue to exercise the minds of reflective chemists. In addition there are questions of chemical evolution, of environmental concern, of industrial application, of the very essence of chemical thinking and of the social aspects of chemistry’s professionalism. Others are interested in the nature of modeling or the role of instrumentation in chemistry, the nature of the molecule and the function of chaos and order in molecular substance. Techniques for predicting therapeutic effects of chemical compounds are gaining in prominence as are studies on molecular complexity and interstellar chemistry as a guide to life elsewhere. All these apparently diverse areas would benefit one way or another in our day to day lives. When novel thoughts were crystallized out to invent the practical usage of various elements known in nature in conjunction with diverse array of other elements in specific orders, utilities were broadened in human life. Several things that we use in our day to day life or materials that we see everyday in our normal life are comprises of elements that we have studied in chemistry classes from periodic table. You may be surprised to realize how closely we associate with chemistry in this world on a daily basis.


The Classic Touch of Chemistry that Make One’s Life Easier are:


Elements as Constituent (Symbol of the element)

Examples of materials that make human life environmentally friendly and comfortable

Hydrogen (H)

Rocket fuel, water etc.

Lithium (Li)

Pacemaker batteries

Sodium (Na)

Kitchen salt, batteries, Soda glass

Potassium (K)

Glass lens, Gun powder, Fertilizer

Cesium (Cs)

Atomic clock, Gamma radiation

Beryllium (Be)

Watch springs, Spark-free tools

Magnesium (Mg)

Chlorophyll, Airplanes

Calcium (Ca)

Concrete, Plaster of Paris, Bones, Fertilizer

Strontium (Sr)

Fireworks (crimson color) , Nuclear batteries

Barium (Ba)

Fireworks (green color), Magnetic recording tapes, Fluorescent lamps

Radium (Ra)

Antique glow in dark paint, Neutron source

Scandium (Sc)

Large screen TV’s, Stadium lights

Yttrium (Y)

Color TV screen, Radar Lasers

Lanthanum (La)

Camera Lens, battery electrodes

Titanium (Ti)

Airplane motors, Bone pins, In paints

Zirconium (Zr)

Catalytic Converters, Furnace Bricks, Gem stones

Hafnium (Hf)

Nuclear submarines

Vanadium (V)

Tools, Jet engines

Tantalum (Ta)

Weights for weight lifting

Chromium (Cr)

Stereo tapes, Plating, knives

Molybdenum (Mo)

Rocket motors, Lubricants

Tungsten (W)

Light filaments, Rocket nozzles, Welding

Manganese (Mn)

Batteries, Axes

Rhenium (Re)

Thermocouples, Jewelry plating

Iron (Fe)

Magnets, Tools, Automobiles

Ruthenium (Ru)

Fountain pen points, Eye treatment

Osmium (Os)

Fountain pen points, Compass needles, Clock bearings

Cobalt (Co)

Razor blades, Permanent Magnets, Catalytic converters

Rhodium (Rh)

Head light reflectors, Telephone relays, Airplane sparkplugs, Catalytic converters

Iridium (Ir)

Hypodermic needles, Sparkplugs

Nickel (Ni)

Coins, Forks 7 spoons, Crucibles

Palladium (Pd)

Dental, Antitumor, Catalytic converters

Platinum (Pt)

Antitumor agent, Dental crowns

Copper (Cu)

Statue of liberty, Cable wire, Water pipes, Coins, sculpture

Silver (Ag)

Silverware, Mirrors, batteries, Photographc films

Gold (Au)

Jewelry, Dental Crowns, Electrical contacts

Zinc (Zn)

Corrosion resistant coatings, Water and gas valves

Cadmium (Cd)

Rechargeable batteries, Pigments, Bolts

Mercury (Hg)

Thermometer, Barometer, Dental, Seed protection

Boron (B)

Heat resistant glass, Eye disinfectant

Aluminum (Al)

Planes, cars, Rockets, Window frames, Door knobs, Cables, Fireworks

Gallium (Ga)

Infra red night vision, Computer memory, Transistors, Quartz thermometers

Indium (In)

Transistors, Solar cells, Mirrors, Photo cells

Thallium (Tl)

Insecticides, Infrared detectors, Thermometers

Carbon (C)

Pencils, Diamonds, Steel, Plastics, Tire Industry

Silicon (Si)

Micro chips, Solar cells, Silicon rubber, Oil, Quartz glass, cement

Germanium (Ge)

Fiber Optics, Wide angle lens, Infrared vision, Semiconductors

Tin (Sn)

Enamel, Cups , Plates

Lead (Pb)

Radiation protection, Roof covering, Batteries

Nitrogen (N)

Refrigerant, Coolant, Rocket fuel, In surgery

Phosphorus (P)

Matches, Fireworks, Detergents, fertilizers, Toothpaste, Pesticides

Arsenic( As)

Shotgun pellets, LEDs, Mirrors, Lasers

Antimony (Sb)

Ceramics, Lead batteries, Fir retardant

Bismuth (Bi)

Antacids, Antidiarrheals, Fuses, Fire sprinklers

Oxygen (O)

Life support, Steel production, Water purification

Sulfur (S)

Matches, Fireworks, batteries, Vulcanization

Selenium (Se)

Copy machines, Shampoo, Solar cells

Tellurium (Te)

Vulcanization, Electrical resisters

Polonium (Po)

Film cleaner, Antistatic agents, Neutron source

Fluorine (F)

Toothpaste, Coolant, Teflon

Chlorine (Cl)

Bleach, Water purification, Plastics, Stain remover

Bromine (Br)

Photographic film, tear gas, Disinfectant

Iodine (I)

Photographic film, Ink pigment, salt additive, Halogen lamps, Disinfectant

Helium (He)

Balloon blimps, Leak detector, Nuclear plant coolant, Lasers

Neon (Ne)

Lights, TV tubes, Lasers

Argon (Ar)

Lasers, Light bulbs, Welding blankets

Krypton (Kr)

Atomic clocks, Fluorescent bulbs, UV lasers

Xenon (Xe)

Sun lamps, Projection lamps, Electric flashes

Radon (Rn)

Earthquake meter

** Some of the less useful elements are not includes

*BY HARI KOCHAT (This article is dedicated to my mentor Professor Sukhdev, who is one of the pioneers of natural Product Chemistry &currently the National Professor of India)

Back to home page