Quiz about Tin Planet
Quiz about Tin Planet

Tin Planet Trivia Quiz


Tin! Its name is synonymous with cans, it's soft, it's silver in colour, and it's the fiftieth element of the Periodic Table. What do you know about tin?

A multiple-choice quiz by Kankurette. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Kankurette
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
397,860
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
282
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. What is the element symbol for tin? Hint

Tn
Au
Sn
Ti

2. Tin is an element occurring in nature, and is extracted from various ores. One way of obtaining these ores is through mining. Which English county was once the home of several tin mines? (Hint: a traditional snack for tin miners was a meat-and-veg pasty!) Hint

Cornwall
Cambridgeshire
Hampshire
Cumbria

3. In the UK, when we think of tin, we think of cans of food, such as a tin of baked beans. Why was tin initially chosen as a material for canning food? Hint

It makes the food taste better.
It has a low density.
It is aesthetically pleasing.
It does not corrode.

4. Tin has been used by humans for thousands of years, as far back as the Bronze Age.

True
False

5. When you bend tin, it makes a sound. What is this sound commonly known as? Hint

Tin squeak
Tin crunch
Tin cry
Tin howl

6. Which malleable alloy, used to make decorative objects, jewellery and figurines, is primarily made up of tin (in the region of 85-99%)? Hint

Steel
Brass
Vitallium
Pewter

7. Tin can become brittle at low temperatures, and even turn into powder. What is the name of the phenomenon that causes this process? Hint

Tin pest
Tinsanity
Tin sleep
Tin taint

8. Which oxide mineral, found in places such as Rwanda and Bolivia, is the ore most commonly used for tin extraction? Hint

Cassiterite
Cinnabar
Galena
Bauxite

9. Tin has two principal forms, or allotropes, known as grey and white tin. By which name are these two allotropes also known? Hint

Dark tin and light tin
Alpha-tin and beta-tin
Tin major and tin minor
Alpha-tin and omega-tin

10. Molten tin is a popular choice of metal for the Pilkington process, which is used to manufacture which kind of product? Hint

Cars
Corrugated cardboard
Bullets
Glass


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What is the element symbol for tin?

Answer: Sn

'Sn' is the element symbol for tin because it comes from the Latin 'stannum', which means an alloy of silver and lead. It was previously known as 'plumbum candidum', or 'white lead'. Ti is titanium, Au is gold and Tn is the former symbol for tungsten.
2. Tin is an element occurring in nature, and is extracted from various ores. One way of obtaining these ores is through mining. Which English county was once the home of several tin mines? (Hint: a traditional snack for tin miners was a meat-and-veg pasty!)

Answer: Cornwall

The name 'stannum' is actually thought to come from a Cornish word, 'stean'. Cornwall once had a thriving tin mining industry, and the Cornish pasty, being large and filling, was a handy snack for tin miners. Stannary law is a law that specifically relates to tin mining in Cornwall and the nearby county of Devon. Principle mining areas included Redruth, Penwith and St Agnes.

When tin mines began to run out, Cornish miners relocated abroad to places such as Australia. The final tin mine in Cornwall, at South Crofty, was closed in 1998, although reopening the mine has been considered, as there are still tin deposits in the area.
3. In the UK, when we think of tin, we think of cans of food, such as a tin of baked beans. Why was tin initially chosen as a material for canning food?

Answer: It does not corrode.

'Tin can' is actually a misnomer, as the cans were made with a combination of tin and steel. Tin is not corrosive and does not contaminate food, which is why it was initially used in canning; nowadays, aluminium is used instead. Peter Durand, a British merchant, came up with the idea of using tin-plated steel to can food in 1810, and Thomas Kensett & Co patented the tin can in the USA in 1828.

It became a handy food container for soldiers during the US Civil War. In the mid-20th century, aluminium began to replace tin as the main metal used for canning, as it was cheaper and lighter.
4. Tin has been used by humans for thousands of years, as far back as the Bronze Age.

Answer: True

The use of tin dates back as far as 3000 BC, with bronze objects containing small amounts of tin. Tin was added to copper to make it harder and more durable, making it useful for creating weapons. Because it was, and still is, one of the rarer naturally occurring metals, it often had to be transported for great distances to satisfy the international demand.

As well as Devon and Cornwall, other areas with tin deposits included southern European countries, the Ore Mountains on the Czech/German border, the French region of Brittany, and further afield, the 'tin belt' from China to the Malay peninsula. One group of Bronze Age artefacts found in the Balkans contained various tin isotopes, suggesting the tin used in them had come from different areas.
5. When you bend tin, it makes a sound. What is this sound commonly known as?

Answer: Tin cry

Tin cry, or tin scream, is a misnomer; the noise made when a piece of tin is bent is more like a crunching or crackling sound. The noise is caused by a phenomenon called crystal twinning, which is when a pair of separate crystals share lattice points, and which occurs when the tin is bent.

The atoms of the tin move rapidly and create a sound wave. Because tin melts easily, it is possible to make it 'cry' over and over again by melting and re-crystallising it. Other metals such as niobium and cadmium have the same effect when bent.
6. Which malleable alloy, used to make decorative objects, jewellery and figurines, is primarily made up of tin (in the region of 85-99%)?

Answer: Pewter

Pewter, like tin, has been in use since the Bronze Age. Along with tin, it contains small amounts of antimony, bismuth, copper or, in some cases, silver. The copper and antimony are added for hardening purposes. The name 'pewter' is thought to come from 'spelter', a type of zinc alloy.

The Romans and Egyptians mainly used it for tableware and decorative items. In medieval Europe, there were three kinds of pewter in use; fine metal for tableware, trifling mead for holloware such as teapots, and lay metal for items non-food and drink-related items. Trifling and lay metal both contained lead, which made them more susceptible to tarnishing and darker in colour. Pewter was later replaced by porcelain and other ceramics, but came back into fashion in the later nineteenth century as a metal used for decorative objects, and is still in use for such purposes today.
7. Tin can become brittle at low temperatures, and even turn into powder. What is the name of the phenomenon that causes this process?

Answer: Tin pest

Tin pest sounds like some kind of insect, but it's actually the name for a process which is also known as tin leprosy, due to the deterioration it causes to tin objects. At temperatures below 13.2C, tin becomes brittle, and once the process starts, it catalyses itself; in other words, it speeds up.

Although the story about tin pest destroying the buttons of Napoleon's soldiers during the Russian winter is an urban legend, J. Fritzsche reported in the German Chemistry Association's 1869 journal that blocks of tin left out in the cold became loose and crumbled to dust between fingers. Tin pest was also thought to have caused leaks in tins carried by Robert Scott and his team on their journey to the South Pole.

In more recent times, tin pest has occurred in electrical devices as the result of using solder made purely from tin.
8. Which oxide mineral, found in places such as Rwanda and Bolivia, is the ore most commonly used for tin extraction?

Answer: Cassiterite

Cassiterite, with the chemical formula of SnO2, is the main source of tin. To obtain tin, it is roasted in a furnace with carbon. Places in which it can be found include hydrothermal veins in Bolivia, surface deposits on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, and alluvial deposits (deposits caused by sediment being eroded away, transported by water and deposited elsewhere) in the Maakhir region of Somalia.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, cassiterite has been the source of conflict, with armed groups fighting for control of areas containing cassiterite deposits.
9. Tin has two principal forms, or allotropes, known as grey and white tin. By which name are these two allotropes also known?

Answer: Alpha-tin and beta-tin

White tin, or beta-tin, is the form tin takes at room temperature. It is malleable, while grey tin - or alpha-tin - is brittle, and has a diamond cubic structure. It is duller in colour and powdery. Tin pest occurs as a result of beta-tin spontaneously transforming into alpha-tin at low temperatures. Unlike beta-tin, alpha-tin has few uses, though it can make a semiconductor; however, Chinese researchers have been able to use it as a superconductor by substrate engineering and experimenting with layers. Stanene, a material made from single-layer grey tin, is thought to have excellent conducting properties.
10. Molten tin is a popular choice of metal for the Pilkington process, which is used to manufacture which kind of product?

Answer: Glass

To be precise, it's a type of glass called float glass, which is made by pouring molten glass onto a bath of molten tin; the glass floats on top of the tin, creating a level surface. Its thickness can be controlled by drawing off the glass from the bath at different speeds as it cools and solidifies. Soda-lime glass is the most common type of glass made using this process, as it is relatively cheap, hard and chemically stable.

The Pilkington process is named after the British glass manufacturing company Pilkington, who patented the process at their factory in St Helens in Lancashire. Because of its relatively low melting point of 231.93 C, tin is an ideal metal for this process.
Source: Author Kankurette

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