Do You Know What Decade These Elements Were Discovered In?

By: Gavin Thagard

Do You Know What Decade These Elements Were Discovered In?
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About This Quiz

The universe has drawn human curiosity for thousands of years, from when iron was first discovered and turned into tools and weapons to the past century with discoveries like nuclear power. So as a species, it's no surprise that humans want to continue to develop their understanding of everything within the universe as they try to explain even the smallest occurrences in nature. 

One of the most important parts of understanding the universe, of course, is finding out what everything in it is made of. The structure of the universe can be broken down into elements. Elements are the smallest components of the universe and cannot be broken down into smaller substances. This makes their understanding a vital part of figuring out the world around us. 

Are you a science whiz with a full understanding of the universe around you? How well do you know the various elements throughout that universe? Maybe, you know the function of the elements on the periodic table. Maybe you can even name every element from memory. But, can you name the decade in which each element was discovered? Here's your chance to find out!

If you're ready to put your knowledge of the universe up against a real test, get started with this quiz and prove that you are a science master! 

Known for being resistant​ to corrosion, when was titanium discovered?
The 1680s
The ​1790s
Titanium has a strong ability to bond with other elements. Because of that, it was not individually isolated until 1910.
The 1870s
The 1910s

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Named after its violet color, when was indium discovered?
The 1710s
The 1800s
The 1860s
Indium is a soft metal known for its silvery color. A simple metal to work with, it can be easily shaped or textured.
The 1980s

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One of the key elements of water, during which decade was hydrogen discovered?
The 1760s
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. In total, it makes up around 75% of all the mass in the universe.
The 1790s
The 1880s
The 1920s

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Francium is one of the rarest naturally occurring elements. When was it discovered?
The 1690s
The 1770s
The 1850s
The 1930s
Though francium wasn't discovered until 1939, the element was predicted much earlier. In the late 1800s, scientists began to theorize that another alkali metal was out there, and it turned out to be francium.

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A popular filler for balloons, when was helium discovered?
The 1740s
The 1800s
The 1890s
Helium is a sneaky element with no color, taste or odor. It is the second most common element found throughout the universe.
The 1980s

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Discovered by scientists from both Russia and the United States, what decade was oganesson found?
The 1780s
The 1820s
The 1890s
The 2000s
The Lawrence Berkley Labs in California published a paper in 1999 announcing that they found element 118, oganesson. However, they had to retract the paper after their experiment couldn't be repeated.

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A compound involving lithium was first found on the island of Uto in Sweden. When was it officially discovered as an element?
The 1760s
The 1810s
Lithium is not found in its natural form anywhere on earth because of its radioactivity level. Instead, the element can be found in other places such as mineral springs and seawater.
The 1920s
The 1980s

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Neon was discovered by its red glow. What decade was it found?
The 1890s
Neon is a popular element used for lighting. However, it's also a good element for freezing and is used in cryonics.
The 1930s
The 1980s
The 1920s

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A popular element used in cooking, when was sodium discovered?
The 1800s
Sodium is a necessary element for the human diet. In human cells, sodium regulates the fluid balance throughout the body.
The 1890s
The 1940s
The 1990s

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Used for cleaning pools, when was chlorine discovered?
The 1690s
The 1770s
Chlorine was used as a chemical weapon during World War I. Chlorine was effective because it was both toxic and lighter than air. However, it was also easy to detect because of its smell.
The 1840s
The 1960s

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Astatine is a rare, naturally occurring element found in the earth's crust. Which decade was it discovered?
The 1660s
The 1750s
The 1890s
The 1940s
Credit for the discovery of astatine has been given to scientists from the University of California Berkley. However, researchers in Germany discovered it separately during WWII, but the war kept them from getting the information out.

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One of the heaviest chemical elements, when was flerovium discovered?
The 1840s
The 1900s
The 1990s
Since it's a relatively new discovery, there is little information about flerovium. For example, scientists have yet to determine its melting point or boiling point.
The 2010s

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Found in the ashes of plants, when was potassium discovered?
The 1750s
The 1800s
A highly reactive metal, potassium is one of the most commonly known alkali metals. With an atomic number of 19, potassium contains 19 protons.
The 1880s
The 1960s

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A deadly asphyxiant gas, in which decade was nitrogen discovered?
The 1770s
78% of the air we breathe is made up of nitrogen. However, we don't notice the nitrogen because it's odorless, tasteless and colorless.
The 1810s
The 1900s
The 1980s

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Named after the German state of Hesse, when was Hassium discovered?
The 1770s
The 1820s
The 1900s
The 1980s
Controversy surrounded the naming of hassium after it was discovered because both Russians and Germans claimed to have discovered the element. The Germans ultimately received credit, and the element was officially named in 1997.

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The last stable element to be found, which decade saw the discovery of hafnium?
The 1800s
The 1850s
The 1920s
In its purest form, hafnium has a bright, silvery shine to it. Once it oxidizes, the element gains a rainbow color.
The 1980s

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Discovered in a mineral called argyrodite, when was germanium found?
The 1700s
The 1810s
The 1880s
After WWII, it was discovered that germanium had semiconductor qualities. With this discovery, the usefulness and production of germanium increased significantly.
The 1930s

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Known for its horrible odor, when was bromine discovered?
The 1770s
The 1820s
Bromine is an important element in animal biology. However, it can also be used as a deadly gas, which is what happened in WWI.
The 1900s
The 1950s

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An important element of breathing, when was oxygen discovered?
The 1770s
In its gas form, oxygen has no odor, taste or color. However, when it's turned into a liquid or a solid, oxygen becomes a pale blue.
The 1810s
The 1920s
The 2000s

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Named after California, in which decade was californium discovered?
The 1790s
The 1830s
The 1890s
The 1950s
As with all elements that have an atomic number higher than 92, californium is a transuranium element. It is also the heaviest element that can be weighed.

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Discovered by Japanese scientists, when was nihonium found?
The 1710s
The 1770s
The 1880s
The 2000s
At the moment, nihonium is not believed to be an important element in the biology of organisms. One reason for this is the high radioactivity of the element.

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Found in human urine, when was phosphorus discovered?
The 1660s
Hennig Brand was the first person to officially discover a new element when he found phosphorus. Other elements were known at the time, but no one is credited with discovering them.
The 1740s
The 1800s
The 1970s

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A major component in stainless steel, when was chromium discovered?
The 1750s
The 1790s
Stainless steal is widely used because of its resistance to corrosion. This resistance is due to the presence of chromium.
The 1860s
The 1940s

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Usually taken from used nuclear fuel, in which decade was protactinium found?
The 1720s
The 1870s
The 1910s
Protactinium is an extremely radioactive metal that is toxic to animals. Of its 13 isotopes, none of them are stable.
The 2010s

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Found in the ashes of seaweed, when was iodine discovered?
The 1690s
The 1810s
Iodine is commonly used to make various medicines. However, some people can develop an allergy to the element.
The 1880s
The 1920s

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Copernicium is rare because it can only be created in a laboratory. When was it discovered?
The 1760s
The 1850s
The 1920s
The 1990s
Copernicium is named after Nicklaus Copernicus. Copernicus is credited with placing the sun at the center of the universe instead of the earth.

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Named after Pluto, when was plutonium discovered?
The 1700s
The 1810s
The 1940s
Plutonium was discovered during the early years of WWII. However, since it could be used to make an atomic bomb, its discovery was kept secret until after the war.
The 1980s

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Used to make ferroniobium, when was niobium discovered?
The 1800s
Scientists had a difficult time naming niobium because of its close association with tantalum. It officially received its current name in 1949.
The 1870s
The 1940s
The 1990s

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Only found in nature when it's combined with other elements, during which decade was manganese discovered?
The 1770s
Around 90% of manganese is mined from manganese dioxide. Common in nature, it is important in the production of steel.
The 1840s
The 1890s
The 1970s

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Found inside the bones of humans, when was yttrium discovered?
The 1700s
The 1790s
A transition metal, yttrium is one of the rarest elements on earth. As a pure element, it is never found in nature.
The 1850s
The 1930s

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Named after Albert Einstein, in which decade was Einsteinium found?
The 1770s
The 1820s
The 1900s
The 1950s
Extremely radioactive, einsteinium glows blue when in the dark. It was discovered from exploding a hydrogen bomb in 1952.

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Found to discolor when exposed to air, when was thallium discovered?
The 1690s
The 1740s
The 1860s
Because it's so toxic, thallium has been commonly used in poisons for rats and insects. However, it's also been used as a murder weapon.
The 1970s

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Identified on the periodic table by a W, when was tungsten discovered?
The 1680s
The 1780s
Tungsten is a refractory metal, meaning it's highly resistant to heat and wear. Other refractory metals include niobium and tantalum.
The 1870s
The 1960s

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An extremely soft metal, when was cerium discovered?
The 1800s
Cerium is an important element for those in the film industry. It is popularly used for lighting such as carbon arc lighting and projector lights.
The 1880s
The 1950s
The 1990s

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Discovered as part of the Manhattan Project, in which decade was americium found?
The 1790s
The 1870s
The 1940s
Americium can be found naturally in minerals containing uranium. The element can also be found in nuclear power plants from the neutron bombardment​ of plutonium.
The 2000s

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