Trivia

Another Trivia Challenge: Chemical elements with 10 or more letters

Here’s another list-based trivia challenge. There are 20 elements in the Periodic Table whose names, in English, contain 10 or more letters. How many can you name?

All 20 names appear at the end of this piece, grouped in various ways. First, as usual, a few paragraphs of text so that you don’t read them accidentally. Skip past them if you want to go straight to the answers.

This might be a good jackpot question for the BBC1 quiz show “Who Dares Wins”, where contestants can win up to £50,000 by naming up to 15 items in a list. As this piece from last year explains, contestants win money by naming items in groups of 3 (3 correct answers = £5,000, 6 correct answers = £10,000 and so on). Most adults with any interest in trivia questions should be able to think of at least 3 elements.

There are exactly 10 elements that have 10 letters in their name, and exactly 10 that have more than 10 letters in their name. This would make either list suitable for the ITV quiz show “Tenable”, which I have mentioned many times, beginning with this piece. “Name all 10 elements whose names contain exactly 10 letters” and “Name all 10 elements whose names contain more than 10 letters” would be pretty tough rounds for most of us, but maybe not as tough as listing the names of every Weasley in the Harry Potter books.

It’s possible that one or more of these Periodic Table challenges have featured in one or both of these shows, but not in any episode that I have seen.

A few hints

You might have memorized chunks of of the Periodic Table, maybe the first 20 or 40 items numerically using a mnemonic like HHeLiBeBCNOF. If so you will know that there is only one element with 10 letters or more in those first 40 items.

Most of the longest names are in the lower end of the Periodic Table. 13 of them have atomic numbers greater than 90. There are exactly 10 between 101 and 117.

Many of these elements are named after people and places. If you’re stuck, try and think of scientists or places with elements named after them. That might help you to come up with a few more.

One element has 13 letters in its name.

Three elements have 12 letters in their names.

Six elements have 11 letters in their names.

Ready for the answers?

If not, look away now, and come back when you are ready.

The answers

All 20, listed by atomic number

Atomic Number Name Symbol
15 Phosphorus P
42 Molybdenum Mo
43 Technetium Tc
59 Praseodymium Pr
61 Promethium Pm
64 Gadolinium Gd
66 Dysprosium Dy
91 Protactinium Pa
96 Californium Cf
99 Einsteinium Es
101 Mendelevium Md
103 Lawrencium Lr
104 Rutherfordium Rf
106 Seaborgium Sg
109 Meitnerium Mt
110 Darmstadtium Ds
111 Roentgenium Rg
112 Copernicium Cn
116 Livermorium Lv
117 Tennessine Ts

 

All 20, listed alphabetically

Atomic Number Name Symbol
96 Californium Cf
112 Copernicium Cn
110 Darmstadtium Ds
66 Dysprosium Dy
99 Einsteinium Es
64 Gadolinium Gd
103 Lawrencium Lr
116 Livermorium Lv
109 Meitnerium Mt
101 Mendelevium Md
42 Molybdenum Mo
15 Phosphorus P
59 Praseodymium Pr
61 Promethium Pm
91 Protactinium Pa
111 Roentgenium Rg
104 Rutherfordium Rf
106 Seaborgium Sg
43 Technetium Tc
117 Tennessine Ts

 

The 10 elements with exactly 10 letters in their name (alphabetically)

Atomic Number Name Symbol
66 Dysprosium Dy
64 Gadolinium Gd
103 Lawrencium Lr
109 Meitnerium Mt
42 Molybdenum Mo
15 Phosphorus P
61 Promethium Pm
106 Seaborgium Sg
43 Technetium Tc
117 Tennessine Ts

 

The 10 elements with more than 10 letters in their name (alphabetically)

Atomic Number Name Symbol
96 Californium Cf
112 Copernicium Cn
110 Darmstadtium Ds
99 Einsteinium Es
116 Livermorium Lv
101 Mendelevium Md
59 Praseodymium Pr
91 Protactinium Pa
111 Roentgenium Rg
104 Rutherfordium Rf

 

All 20 elements in order of size (largest first) and then alphabetically

Atomic Number Name Sym Len
104 Rutherfordium Rf 13
110 Darmstadtium Ds 12
59 Praseodymium Pr 12
91 Protactinium Pa 12
96 Californium Cf 11
112 Copernicium Cn 11
99 Einsteinium Es 11
116 Livermorium Lv 11
101 Mendelevium Md 11
111 Roentgenium Rg 11
66 Dysprosium Dy 10
64 Gadolinium Gd 10
103 Lawrencium Lr 10
109 Meitnerium Mt 10
42 Molybdenum Mo 10
15 Phosphorus P 10
61 Promethium Pm 10
106 Seaborgium Sg 10
43 Technetium Tc 10
117 Tennessine Ts 10

 

 

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