Did you know that some of the elements that make our phones work are due to run out in 100 years!?
That would mean that we can’t make any more phones!
In this episode Kareena finds out all about silver, what it does in our phones and why it’s in danger of running out.
The Periodic Table
You may have heard of the periodic table. It’s the chart chemists use that has all the elements on it.
It might look like just a random list of all the elements in a funny shape but it’s actually in a very special order.
A single atom of an element is made up of very tiny things called protons, neutrons and electrons. The elements are listed in order of how many protons they have. Each element on the table has one more proton than the one before it and this is what decides the order. That’s what the little numbers above each element are.
Why is it a funny shape?
The elements are divided into groups (each column is a group) and periods (each row is called a period).
They are set up in this funny shape because it helps chemists understand certain things about each element based on their structure like how reactive they might be.
Why can’t I find silver on there?
In the periodic table the elements aren’t listed as their full names as it would be too long to fit in those small boxes.
Instead they abbreviate them all to just one or two letters. Some elements have very strange abbreviations, for example silver is Ag for some reason!