BENGALURU: From glow-in-the-dark water to water that changes the colour of lasers — a slew of simple experiments using everyday elements was on display in the city on Monday evening at an event organized to commemorate 150 years of Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic table. While pointing out that there is higher metal ion content in one’s body when compared with sea water, Uday Maitra, organic chemist and professor in the department of organic chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said human life is closely linked with the periodic table.“Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur comprise 98% of the human body in the form of carbohydrates, nucleic acids, proteins, hormones and vitamins,” he said during a lecture, ‘The Periodic table is in us.’ “Since he had set out to write a book called Principles of Chemistry, he felt he had to establish a system for classifying the elements — a system based not on chance or guesswork but on some sort of principle,” Maitra said, while explaining how Mendeleev began designing the original periodic table. The professor went on to explain how elements of the periodic table play a major role even in the things we use every day, including smartphones, electronic items and automobiles. “With China controlling lithium and Congo controlling the sale of cobalt, both of which are used to make smartphone batteries, and with depleting rare elements used to make other parts, smartphones could become impossible to build in future,” he said.
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June 8, 2019
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