Name That Element! in Scholastic Science World

October 28, 2013 - New York, NY

By Ben Guarino

Which element protects astronauts, fixes broken teeth, and could help doctors fight cancer? Use these five clues to find out.

1. Computer Conductor

Because electricity flows easily through the mystery element, this transition metal is often used in computer parts like microchips. Of all the elements, only silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) are better electrical conductors. But over time, silver and copper form coatings that resist electricity. “The mystery element will never tarnish because it’s not very chemically reactive,” says Benjamin Gross, an electronics historian at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. Know the answer? Score 100 points. If not, read clue 2.

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