Science Word Game for Road Trips

October 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm 2 comments

For your next road trip, a fun, family-friendly game… especially if your family tree has a lot of geeky branches.

Couldn’t be simpler:
Combine abbreviations from the periodic table to create a word.

For instance, you could combine the abbreviations for barium and rutherfordium to make BaRf.

Or use chromium, iodine, titanium, carbon, and aluminum to make CrITiCAl.

Or my current favorite — combine titanium, platinum, oxygen, and einsteinium to form TiPtOEs. How fun!

Post your longest words in the comments. (If you choose to write a computer program to find the longest possible word, please don’t spoil everyone else’s fun.)

Uber-geeks will want to use a formula such as

Points = 3 × No. of Letters + 5 × No. of Elements Used

to score the game. And you can if you like; play ten rounds, and highest score wins. But I say just have fun, make words, and impress everyone riding in the car with you!

You might find the following lists helpful.

Single-Letter Abbreviations:
B, C, F, H, I, K, N, O, P, S, U, V, W, Y

Two-Letter Abbreviations, With A Vowel:
Ac, Ag, Al, Am, Ar, As, At, Au, Ba, Be, Bh, Bi, Bk, Br, Ca, Ce, Co, Cu, Er, Es, Eu, Fe, Ga, Ge, He, Ho, In, Ir, La, Li, Lu, Mo, Na, Ne, Ni, No, Os, Pa, Po, Pu, Ra, Re, Ru, Se, Si, Ta, Te, Ti, Xe

Two-Letter Abbreviations, No Vowel:
Cd, , Cf, Cl, Cm, , Cp, Cr, Cs, Db, Ds, Dy, Fm, Fr, Gd, Hf, Hg, Hs, Kr, Lr, Md, Mg, Mn, Mt, Nb, Nd, Np, Pb, Pd, Pm, Pr, Pt, Rb, Rf, Rg, Rh, Rn, Sb, Sc, Sg, Sm, Sn, Sr, Tb, Tc, Th, Tl, Tm, Yb, Zn, Zr

Three-Letter Abbreviations:
Uuh, Uuo, Uup, Uuq, Uus, Uut

Periodic Table

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. xander  |  October 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Given that all of the three letter abbreviations have a double u in them, perhaps there should be major bonus points for their use. ;) For the record, the only “uu” words that I can think of are “vacuum” and “residuum,” neither of which can be spelled with the periodic table.

    Reply
    • 2. venneblock  |  October 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      I thought about using Uus to make MuUmUus, but there’s no Mu or Um. Bummer. Yeah, super bonus points for anyone who pulls off the double u (but not w).

      Reply

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The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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