• Question: What's your favourite element on the periodic table

    Asked by menu492tax on 13 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Jonathan Allen

      Jonathan Allen answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      Carbon. While it gets a bad press being associated with climate change, it is such a key element to everything in the world and if used responsibly can be managed so that it doesn’t lead to climate change while still doing all the great things we use it for.

    • Photo: Octavia Brayley

      Octavia Brayley answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      Like Jonathan, I’d also probably go for carbon because it’s the basis of so many other cool materials like diamond which is the strongest substance in the world…and also makes very pretty jewellery 🙂

    • Photo: Ian McKinley

      Ian McKinley answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      Caesium. I seem to keep getting involved in projects involving radioactive isotopes of this element over a career lasting almost 50 years. This work has involved measurements in the laboratory, in special underground test sites and in natural environments where Cs isotopes are particularly important (first around Scotland in the 1970s and more recently Fukushima in Japan). I have also modelled movement of this element over scales from metres / years to kilometres / millions of years.

    • Photo: Paula McMahon

      Paula McMahon answered on 15 Nov 2023:

      Oxygen – without it we cannot breath and we wouldn’t have water (however we can’t live without others as well!)

    • Photo: Andrew Lyon

      Andrew Lyon answered on 15 Nov 2023:

      I find carbon really fascinating. It can react with most other elements and is unique in its ability to bond with itself to form chains, rings and branches which can contain thousands of carbon atoms. There are so many chemicals that can be formed when carbon bonds with itself it has it’s own branch of chemistry – organic chemistry.

    • Photo: Amy Stockwell

      Amy Stockwell answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen make up the majority of our bodies, so they are very important.

      But I think that gold is the best. It is the one that I buy for jewellery. It is also inert (it doesn’t react with many things), so it is a useful element too.