Monday, October 25, 2004

How are the abbreviations on the periodic table of elements determined?

Link - Although some of the symbols on the periodic table may seem strange, they all make sense with a little background information. For example, the symbol for the element mercury, Hg, comes from the Latin word hydrargyrum, meaning "liquid silver," a more recent version of which was the English "quicksilver." Many other elements that were known to the ancients also have names derived from Latin. The table below lists some examples for which the initials do not correspond with their modern English names.

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