Which of the following elements can produce sound when struck? (A) Carbon, (B) phosphorus, (C) selenium, (D) nickel, (E) sulfur.
A material that is capable of producing sound when struck with force is considered
sonorous. Metals tend to be highly sonorous, and they will make a clearly audible sound when
they are hit with something like a hammer or mallet. This is because metals have a sea of delocalized electrons which can propagate the
incoming kinetic energy as an outward moving sound wave. So, we should determine which answer choice is a metal and which are nonmetals,
because the metal should make a sound when struck.
The following section of the periodic table shows nonmetals in blue. We can see that carbon, phosphorus, selenium, and sulfur are all nonmetals. Therefore, we can eliminate these answer choices, because these elements will not be
sonorous. The elements in orange are metalloids and the elements in pink are metals, but in
this section of the periodic table, we can’t find nickel. That’s because nickel is located in a part of the periodic table where the transition
metals are found. Because nickel is a metal, it is sonorous and will produce sound when struck.
So, which of the following elements can produce sound when struck? The correct answer is nickel, or answer choice (D).