Home Podcasts THMG144 – Periodic Table Part 2

THMG144 – Periodic Table Part 2


Mike and Bob attempt to break down the periodic table that adorns seemingly every Haz Mat Schools walls, but no one knows really what those things mean. We take a trip into a foundational knowledge that will leave you on the street with real world smarts.

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Periodic table referenced in show. Or download it directly from our website in the previous episode.

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    1. The biggest positive in using and understanding this chart is the organization of the chart
      1. The horizontal lines are called rows
      2. The vertical lines are called groups
        1. You may even hear them referred to as families
    2. there is also a rather thick line that divides metals from the non-metals
      1. The metals are on the left side
      2. the non-metals are on the right
      3. On either side of that line are a segment of elements that are called metalloids or semiconductors.
    3. We also must point out the outliers, the lanthanides and actinides
      1. these are the ones that are always pulled out of the chart and stuck below the chart, 2 rows, by themselves
      2. this gaggle of elements are synthetic. All of these are made in laboratories
      3. they are all grass fed, non-GMO, organically raised, free range elements, steroid free, but nonetheless, made in a lab
    4. By using this chart we can make some broad generalities about the element itself.
      1. Like the higher elements are probably gases, and the lower ones are the solids
        1. With each generality we have an anomaly, like Mercury
      2. Another note on generalizations, this does not preclude you from doing your full science work up.
        1. You can’t say well it’s in the column so it will be a solid.
  1. Elements
    1. Each one has specific information
      1. Some charts show limited information, but the full chart shows it all
    2. Each square that houses an element will show things like
      1. Name
      2. atomic weight
      3. Atomic number
      4. Elemental symbol
      5. Sometimes even the orbitals and more
  2. Definitions
    1. Atomic number
      1. In order for us to explain this, we need to break this a little smaller for a moment
          1. Atoms or elements are made of three things, protons, neutrons and electrons
          2. forget the electrons for right now, but the quantity of protons and neutrons are the way we measure mass and atomic number
      2. So the Atomic number is the number of the protons in the nucleus, NOTHING MORE
    2. Atomic Mass
      1. On the other hand the atomic weight is the total mass of the nucleus, and so it must account for both the protons and the neutrons, so add the quantities together and viola, the atomic weight
      2. On a side note, the term isotope is usually one of those that we don’t truly understand.
        1. This is when there is an imbalance in the nucleus.
          1. so when an element keep the protons the same, and changes the neutrons, it becomes a isotope
    3. Atomic weight
      1. So then, what is the atomic weight?
        1. Well, that’s the atomic mass in relation to a reference point
          1. this reference point has to be rock solid so that all of these numbers are consistent and we are comparing apples to apples
            1. so they picked Carbon 12. The number you see on the bottom of the square is the average of the elements available
        2. SIDE TRIP!!!
          1. So we have Carbon 12, and we check out the periodic table and Carbon 12 is listed with…12.011. WTF?
          2. We talked about isotopes, so we know that there are times, even naturally, that they will occur, so they take all of those (each one with a slightly different mass) and take the average. So this is a weighted number (get it?)
    4. Symbol
      1. This is basically the letters in the box. Its a shorthand of the usually long and unpronounceable name
    5. Metals
      1. AKA Transitional metals
      2. In general these 10 groups in the middle part of the table are pretty stable
        1. If you notice on the chart we have in the shown notes, you may see on the top right of the box that there are a few different numbers. these are the valence orbital
        2. These guys are so stable that they can only share their outermost or valence orbits but their inner obitals.
    6. non-metals
    7. Metalloids and semiconductors
  3. how are they organized
    1. Generally they are organized by atomic number
      1. this in essence means that as the atomic number goes up, the weight would go up as well.
  4. Families
    1. Some of the groups (or columns for those of you that haven’t caught up yet) are also called families.
      1. These families have striking resemblance to each other.
      2. one note for all of this topic, everything that we can assume is based being pure, no contaminants..
      3. there are many family names, like
        1. Alkali earth
        2. Alkaline earth metals
        3. Lanthanides
        4. Actinides
        5. Transition metals
        6. Post transitional metals
        7. Metalloids or semiconductors
        8. reactive non-metals or the halogens
        9. and finally noble gases or inert gases
        10. Let’s break down the major ones
    2. Alkali Metals
      1. This group, which is group one, meaning column one on the left is the Alkali metals
        1. this family has Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium and Francium
      2. These guys are VERY reactive
        1. In fact, the further down the column you go, the more reactive they get.
      3. Which is why they get more rare down there, they would react before they could be used.
      4. When they do react, they are energetically exothermic, spitting white flames and anger at you
        1. They will liberate possibly flammable gases like hydrogen
        2. All of this heat will probably ignite the hydrogen making things worse
        3. Or produce corrosives
      5. you may hear that they are air reactive, that is partly true. Its the moisture in the air they don’t like
        1. They are actually water reactive. So when they are packed, they are packed under oil
          1. Yeah they actually split the water molecule into 2, making a fuel and an oxidizer….nice
    3. Alkaline Earths
      1. This family is made up of Beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium
      2. they are found in group 2. Because they are one group to the right of the bad asses in group one, they aren’t as reactive
        1. they are still water reactive though
      3. Even though these elements don’t just spontaneously ignite, they are just waiting.
        1. So if you take these and increase the surface area it reduces the ignition energy
        2. They are commonly use in the commercial setting is for their radioactive traits.
    4. Halogens
      1. Ahhh, Group 7, the assholes
      2. These jerks are known as flourine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine
      3. these elements are extremely reactive as we have said with the Alkali metals, but for a different reason
        1. These guys are bullies, the steal electrons from the outer valence ring
        2. This starts chain reactions that may or may not be able to be controlled
      4. The weird thing about these guys is that they are not flammable, but everyone seems to think they are.
      5. these guys make reactions go much quicker, so they are as bad, if not worse than a flammable gas
        1. They can make things that don’t burn, burn. Just because they can
    5. Noble Gases
      1. Queue the royal music, its Group 8, the noble gases
        1. this is is Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Radon
      2. These gases are unique because first, they are all gases
      3. Second, because all of their valence rings are full, meaning they are full and happy and really don’t want to interact with anyone
      4. The main problem with these is the asphyxiant angle. They are excellent displacers of oxygen.
      5. They are also stored in a cryogenic state, and all of these have massive expansion ratios.
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