Chemistry Graphs: Relative Abundance of the Elements in the Universe

The most common element in the universe is hydrogen followed by helium. Stars are made primarily of these two elements. Heavier elements are formed through fusion. The heaviest elements (elements with a mass greater than that of iron) are formed during the super nova explosion of massive stars.

Notice that the y-axis of the graph is a logarithmic function. Logarithms are used to make enormous numbers, like 1 x 1023, into more manageable numbers, like 23 and 1 x 1024 into 24. The important thing to remember about logarithms is that each increase in number is a 10-fold increase. On a log scale, the number 24 is TEN times bigger than the number 23.

For example, the Richter scale, well known for measuring the severity of earthquakes, is a logarithmic scale. An earthquake that measures an 8 on the Richter scale is 10 times more devastating than a quake that measures 7 on the Richter scale. Keep that in mind as you answer the following questions.

General Questions
 The most abundant element in the universe, according to the graph is ______.
 1

 How many times MORE abundant is hydrogen than helium?
 2

 What is the least common element out of the first 30 elements?
 3

 What is a general trend in the relative abundance of elements that you can make as atomic number increases?
 4

 Hydrogen is approximately 10,000 times more abundant than what common element in Earth's atmosphere?
 5

E Saylor

Show Related AlgebraLab Documents