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Favorite One?

As we get to the end of the Disappearing Spoon the question is whether you had or now have a favorite element? The elements each with their own properties and the periodic table as a way of organizing them are perfect for collectors of whatever (stamps, coins, etc.).  I’m not sure I have a single favorite but I certainly have some I really like.

As an organic chemist, I really like carbon and all its versatility but its next door neighbor, nitrogen, has provided me with all the interest needed for me professionally. Nitrogen gas surrounds all the time here on earth and nitrogen participates in almost of all life’s processes. If you’ve bought eggs from Angela and I, you may or may not know that they come from Enno Farms (that is Enno as in NO as in nitric oxide). This nitrogen containing compound has been very good to us research wise and allowed us to pursue other types of life chemistry on a macro scale.

It’s hard not to like some of the common everyday metals like iron and I spent a good deal of time as a post-doctoral working on osmium compounds. The chemistry department’s intramural softball team is the isotopes and their jerseys sport different element symbols and atomic numbers.

Have you found a favorite element or elements (for whatever reason) reading the Disappearing Spoon?

Category: The Disappearing Spoon

5 Responses to Favorite One?

  1. Sarah Jeong says:

    My favorite element is carbon due to my college studies in organic chemistry (whenever I saw a tetrahedron, I thought of carbon). I also think that the introduction of iodized salt to treat iodine deficiency was an amazing public health initiative.

  2. Angela King says:

    As a prolific reader my favorite element has to be suspense…

    As a chemist, I’d go with nitrogen.

  3. Molly says:

    I don’t have a favorite element, although as I read this book, I recalled that in h.s. chemistry, I always liked the elements whose periodic symbol didn’t match the start of their names (e.g., Pb for lead). For some reason, those clicked for me–probably because I had to work harder to remember them–and were the first I could mentally position on the table.

  4. Mary Beth says:

    Hmm, an interesting question. I guess I can’t say that I have a favorite per se, but certainly have found different times of my life when differing ones were important to me. I remember first learning about how you can get potassium by eating bananas, and how critical iron was during pregnancy. Those have been both very important. And finding it odd that metals like zinc can and should be consumed? And they put those in multivitamins? When running, oxygen becomes primo because not getting enough of it into you will cause awful cramps. And nitrogen and phosphorous in fertilizer for getting good growth in plants. So it’s hard to choose. For every circumstance, it’s element, I guess. But I love the use of ENNO for your product line. That’s great! And as a regular consumer of your eggs, thanks for providing such an easy way to eat delicious and guilt-free eggs!

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