Dipan Kumar Rout

Living life between backspaces.

Geeky Bites: Periodic Table

Boasting time. During my school days, I was the only student in my batch, who remembered the entire periodic table by heart. It was 118 elements at the time when I achieved this feat. Although this was done as part of a challenge to impress someone, I’m thankful to my past self for doing this. Its been more than 20 years but I still am able to recite them all.

Special thanks to Todd Helmenstine for the majority of the printable versions in market.

How I remembered this is the next story. I remembered it in the blocks of 20 elements each in the form of mnemonics. Below is the one that I use.


The superscript two means, there are two elements tied to the letter.

Example: H2LB2CNOFN2MASPSKAKC stands for Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminum, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Chlorine, Argon, Potassium, Calcium.

Well there’s a long format as a poem to remember them with their functionality too.

In the realm of chemistry’s grand design,
Elements line up in a shimmering line.
Hydrogen, the lightest, a star’s delight,
Helium next, with a noble glow so bright.

Lithium sparks, in batteries it’s found,
Beryllium strong, in metals it’s renowned.
Boron, the bridge to carbon’s chain,
Carbon, life’s essence, in every vein.

Nitrogen breathes in the air we share,
Oxygen vital, found everywhere.
Fluorine fierce, in toothpaste it’s seen,
Neon lights up in a glowing green.

Sodium’s zest in salt we savor,
Magnesium’s spark in fire’s flavor.
Aluminum light, in planes it soars,
Silicon’s tech, in chips it stores.

Phosphorus bright, in matches it flares,
Sulfur’s scent, in hot springs and airs.
Chlorine cleans in pools we swim,
Argon, inert, in lights it’s dim.

Potassium pumps in cells’ delight,
Calcium’s strength in bones so white.
Scandium rare, in alloys it blends,
Titanium tough, in strength it lends.

Vanadium shines in steel so bright,
Chromium colors in hues of light.
Manganese works in steel’s fine grain,
Iron, the core, in blood’s domain.

Cobalt’s blue in glass and paint,
Nickel’s strength in coins so quaint.
Copper conducts in wires so neat,
Zinc’s shield in galvanizing sheet.

Gallium melts in a warm hand’s touch,
Germanium’s tech, electronics and such.
Arsenic’s edge, both poison and cure,
Selenium’s shine in photocells pure.

Bromine’s red in a liquid state,
Krypton’s glow in a noble gait.
Rubidium’s flash in fireworks’ bloom,
Strontium’s glow in the night’s dark room.

Yttrium’s spark in lasers’ light,
Zirconium strong, in ceramics so bright.
Niobium’s strength in steel’s embrace,
Molybdenum’s edge in tools we trace.

Technetium rare, in stars it forms,
Ruthenium’s touch in electronics norms.
Rhodium’s gleam in jewels we prize,
Palladium’s role in converters wise.

Silver’s shine in jewelry’s grace,
Cadmium’s charge in batteries’ place.
Indium’s sheen in screens so wide,
Tin’s bond in solder’s guide.

Antimony’s role in flame’s arrest,
Tellurium’s glow in alloys dressed.
Iodine’s trace in health we trust,
Xenon’s flash in lights robust.

Cesium’s clock in time’s pure beat,
Barium’s glow in fireworks’ heat.
Lanthanum leads rare earth’s start,
Cerium’s spark in lighter’s heart.

Praseodymium’s glow in glass so rare,
Neodymium’s pull in magnets fair.
Promethium’s glow in a nuclear hue,
Samarium’s strength in magnets true.

Europium’s light in TV’s shine,
Gadolinium’s role in MRI’s line.
Terbium’s glow in green screens pure,
Dysprosium’s touch in magnets sure.

Holmium’s strength in magnets’ might,
Erbium’s role in fiber’s light.
Thulium’s glow in X-rays bright,
Ytterbium’s tech in lasers’ sight.

Lutetium ends the rare earth’s line,
Hafnium’s strength in alloys fine.
Tantalum’s edge in electronics’ beat,
Tungsten’s glow in filaments’ heat.

Rhenium’s touch in jet engines’ thrust,
Osmium’s density in alloys trust.
Iridium’s spark in spark plugs pure,
Platinum’s gleam in jewelry’s allure.

Gold’s glitter in coins so grand,
Mercury’s flow in thermometers’ hand.
Thallium’s edge in optics’ glow,
Lead’s weight in shielding’s show.

Bismuth’s role in pepto’s aid,
Polonium’s touch in space grade.
Astatine’s rarity in earth’s crust,
Radon’s presence in gases we trust.

Francium’s flash in a fleeting stay,
Radium’s glow in night’s display.
Actinium’s role in radiance bright,
Thorium’s glow in lamps’ light.

Protactinium’s trace in research found,
Uranium’s power in reactors bound.
Neptunium’s place in science rare,
Plutonium’s might in energy’s share.

Americium’s touch in smoke alarms,
Curium’s glow in a scientist’s charms.
Berkelium’s edge in research keen,
Californium’s role in reactors’ scene.

Einsteinium’s glow in labs so pure,
Fermium’s touch in research sure.
Mendelevium’s trace in the periodic lore,
Nobelium’s place in science’s core.

Lawrencium ends the actinide’s tale,
Rutherfordium starts the super heavy’s trail.
Dubnium’s name in honor’s light,
Seaborgium’s place in element’s sight.

Bohrium’s edge in chemistry’s quest,
Hassium’s place in the periodic test.
Meitnerium’s name in honor’s call,
Darmstadtium’s place in the periodic hall.

Roentgenium’s glow in science’s lore,
Copernicium’s place in the elements’ score.
Nihonium’s edge in recent find,
Flerovium’s place in elements’ mind.

Moscovium’s name in honor’s view,
Livermorium’s place in elements’ hue.
Tennessine’s name in recent time,
Oganesson’s end in element’s rhyme.

Damn, this made me tired. It takes a lot to remember. Perhaps I was able to do so because I was in the peak of my student career when I did that. Signing off.

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