What Are All the Elements in the Periodic Table Actually Used For?

We at LikeAble never cease to be fascinated and delighted by all aspects of science. What could be more interesting than making sense of how the world around us works? But sometimes it can be hard to really get to grips with certain ideas when you don’t know what role they play in real life. Luckily, someone has created a great new project to solve this problem.

There are 118 elements in the periodic table. Pretty much everyone is familiar with some of them. For example, everybody knows that calcium is the stuff in milk and bones, chlorine goes into swimming pools, and helium makes balloons float. But besides sitting in some scientist’s cupboard, what’s the use of, say, molybdenum, antimony, or gallium?

Keith Enevoldsen has finally tackled questions like this. He’s created an interactive periodic table that shows the everyday applications of all the known elements. Thanks to his project, we can now find out that strontium is a common component in red fireworks and flares. It’s also used in clear batteries and medical diagnostic tracers.

There’s also a downloadable PDF of the table which makes for the perfect teaching tool. It doesn’t look too overwhelming for kids, but it still contains all of the key features of a conventional periodic table. Alternatively, you can buy it in poster form from this online store if you’re in need of a new wall hanging.

Head over to Keith’s website for the full interactive map right now if you’re interested. Here’s a small sneak preview of it:


We at LikeAble applaud Keith for his great work in helping us relate the importance of science to our everyday lives. Great job!

Preview photo credit Keith Enevoldsen

Based on materials from iflscience