Jeopardy Jubilee!

Tonight’s final Jeopardy clue was in the category of “The Periodic Table”, 2/5/14.  I immediately said I would have bet it all. I was so ready to go for the clue. Before the clue had even been finished, I hadn’t seen the whole clue, I made my guess. After seeing the rest of the clue, I knew I was right. It was great! 

Here’s the clue: Of the element symbols that don’t match the element’s English name, this element’s symbol is alphabetically 1st.

I got up to Of the element symbols that don’t match the element’s English name, before making my guess. 

Want to know the answer? It’s silver! The chemical symbol is Ag. (Gold is Au, and therefore comes after Ag alphabetically. Ar is most likely next, although that is the symbol for Argon, and doesn’t make sense with the clue) 

Silver’s noble gas configuration is [Kr]5s14d10 The melting point of silver is 961.93°C and the boiling point is 2212°C. Silver is a metal found in group 11 of the periodic table. Silver is [A g]reat (see what I did there) conductor and is often used to make things like solder, electrical contacts and printed circuit boards. One site writes, “Silver is also the best reflector of visible light known, but silver mirrors must be given a protective coating to prevent them from tarnishing.” Silver used to be used to make coins, although copper and other metals are more often used today. Batteries can also be made with silver and zinc. “Sterling silver, an alloy containing 92.5% silver, is used to make silverware, jewelry and other decorative items,” states one article. Most of silver’s salts are toxic, although silver itself is not. This is due to the anions. One site explains, “Exposure to silver (metal and soluble compounds) should not exceed 0.01 mg/M3 (8 hour time-weighted average for a 40 hour week). Silver compounds can be absorbed into the circulatory system, with deposition of reduced silver in body tissues. This may result in argyria, which is characterized by a greyish pigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes. Silver is germicidal and may be used to kill many lower organisms without harm to higher organisms.” Basically, don’t get too close to silver compounds or you will develop argyria, which will make you look weird. 

Silver is used in so many things today, and, without it, I would not have gotten the final Jeopardy clue correct tonight. Thank you silver!


So ta ta for now and I hope to see your chemical reaction soon!



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