Chemical Brothers at Wimbledon

Chemicals are everywhere, even on the manicured English tennis lawns of Wimbledon.


A letter in the Times today spotted  by James pointed out the coincidence of chemical elements from the periodic table featuring in the names of Chinese tennis players.


Sir, Chemists among the tennis fans will not have failed to notice the names of two particular competitors this year at Wimbledon. Na Li lost narrowly to Serena Williams and in the men’s singles Y Lu yesterday beat Andy Roddick. Students of the periodic table will smile knowing that Na (sodium) and Li (lithium) are next to each other in one group of that table and Y (yttrium) and Lu (lutetium) are next each other in another. As Chinese tennis flourishes may we expect further coincidences of the chemical elements on the courts?

David Butler

Barnstaple, N Devon


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