Discussion: Discovery of the Elements

Worth 20 points, with replies
In this activity, we are going to explore when and where certain elements were discovered (or where the first oldest sample was discovered, in the case of elements known in ancient times).  For each element, we will also explore various physical properties and what it is used for currently.


  1. Choose ONE element with an atomic number between 1–57, or 72–86.  You may not choose an element that someone else has chosen, so be sure to check the discussion board before you search and/or post.  Identify your chosen element by name and elemental symbol (abbreviation shown on the periodic table).
  2. Use online sources to determine when (year) and where the element was discovered.  If your chosen element was known in ancient times, record where the first (oldest) sample was discovered and the era (or range of years) the sample was used.  Please try to narrow down the place as much as possible.  For instance, a city is better than a region, but a region is preferable to a country.
  3. Watch this video regarding latitude and longitude. 

    Determine and record reasonable latitude and longitude coordinates for where your chosen element was discovered.  You may use any resources available online, and be sure to include the latitude and longitude coordinates in your post, in addition to the spreadsheet below.

    POST your latitude and longitude coordinates in our shared Google spreadsheet where indicated (also include your name, your element name, its elemental symbol, and year or era of discovery in the columns provided).  We will create a class map for our elements after everyone has entered their information into the spreadsheet.
  4. Record the major physical properties of your chosen element in your discussion board post.  Be sure to include information such as the phase in which the element is most commonly observed (i.e., gas, liquid, or solid) and what it looks like.  Also include its melting point and boiling point (under normal atmospheric pressure), and its density.  (If the substance does not melt, but has a sublimation point instead, then record this information.)
  5. Include in your post a short 3–4 sentence paragraph describing the applications for this element and/or any environmental or health issues.

Read the posts of at least two other students and post a short comment.

Be sure to include the links to your source(s).

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