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Your Questions About How To Discover New Elements

Sandra asks…

What element could I choose and have a creative story behind it?

I have to write a story about which element on the periodic table I would be. For example, it could be a story about gold in the ring on Paris Hilton’s finger or about someone drinking from an aluminum Coke can. Any ideas?

New Niche Finder answers:

Sometimes the best stories have a touch of reality. I am going to say to write about protactinium, element 91, discovered by Lise Meitner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lise_Meitner).

Meitner’s accomplishments, at the beginning of the 20th century, include being part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, finding new elements, and was the second woman in the 570 year history of the University of Vienna to receive a doctorate in Physics. Even though her accomplishments to science were enormous, the Nobel committee refused to acknowledge her accomplishments, or the accomplishments of women, and awarded the prize to her collaborators. All of this happened at a time when women in the USA were not allowed to vote. Recently Lise Meitner has had element 109 Meitnerium, named after her.

It appears that you are writing a fiction paper, and if you think about it, you may be able to use the paper in a science, history, and english classes. Meitner made many important science discoveries. For history you have WWII and her need as a Jew to flee Germany, rights of women, women overcoming obstacles to achieve greatness, and subsequent recognition of her scientific work by her peers. For an english class, you can use her story as the background for historical fiction writing about conversations the Noble committee might have had when deciding not to give her the award, or conversations she might have had as she was trying to secure a science post in another lab as Hitler’s power grew.

Historical fiction is where a writer takes real events and creates fictional conversations and interactions. An example is the book “I, Claudius.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Claudius)

Steven asks…

What are some main elements to visiting a website? See details. ?

If a website has an interest or topic you want to read about what main elements would make you go to one website over another?

Examples: Popularity, Design, Load Time, Flash Animation, Design, Lots of link, Accessibility, Easy reading, Good Layout, Paypal, Efficient Contact information if needed, jobs, physical location, found through Google or another search engine.

New Niche Finder answers:

Hi typhillips
Content is what I find the most important.And also that its rightly updated.I happened to discover this site today- downes.ca (to site an example), and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Its a personal website of course and I found it one of the best ever.

I don’t find flash very impressive unless its absolutely necessary.
Useful outbound links are also desirable.Page rank or any other rank is the least important in any case.Load time yes -it needs to bearable.
Contact info is very handy all the time.I prefer optimal use of colorsOn the official BBC site (after it got redesigned last year) we can “change” the color -one feature which serves hardly any purpose.

Hope this helps!

James asks…

What are the most important element discoveries?

not just dates of each element ,but which of the elements are the major discoveries?

New Niche Finder answers:

Interesting question.

I suggest phosphorus. It was the first element discovered in modern times. And yes, 1669 is modern times.

I’m going to echo Steve’s selection of radium. It’s a fairly powerful alpha emitter and was used fruitfully (by Rutherford and others) to probe the inner structure of the atom. It was so useful (and so rare) that women’s groups in the 1921 raised $100,000 to buy one gram of Ra to give to Marie Curie upon her visit to America. The discoverer of radium was so strapped for cash that she did not have any radium at all.


The discovery of the noble gases (called inert gases back in the day) by Sir William Ramsay and Lord Rayleigh, in the mid-to late-1890’s (I think). It created a whole new column in the periodic table that was not even suspected to be there before their discovery.

That was fun!

Joseph asks…

Why did Mendeleev Arrange the elements in order of atomic masses?

Why did Mendeleev and other chemists of his time arrange elements in irder of atomic masses? I really need help with this problem. Thank you! :)

New Niche Finder answers:

Because he found out that elements with similiar atomic masses generally behaved similiarly and could have predicted properites. There were many spaces that mendeleev left blank on his periodic table because he had not yet discovered them, but he was able to describe many of the properties of those unknown elements years before they were discovered.

William asks…

What elements could life be based on?

As well all “should” know, life on Earth is Carbon based. But life could be based on different elements – I know some examples are Silicon and Nitrogen, does anyone know any others?

Also, arsenic kills us – what would kill a Silicon or Nitrogen based creature?

New Niche Finder answers:

Well nasa just recently discovered its one of the building blocks of life ……..look it up on NASA.com should be their first page or Second

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