Thorium does well in comparison, for example when looking at the highest boiling points for elements. But, how about its popularity? Anders Sandberg decided to find out how popular the different chemical elements are. He simply counted the approximate number of google hits for each element and put it all together.
In doing so one gets a lot of errors since certain element names have alternative meanings. For example Tin is short for Tax Identification Number (used for tax purposes in the United States) and Triangulated Irregular Network (a digital data structure), which is amplifying its google hits.
Disregarding the errors there is some information to be retrieved and thorium should not suffer from extra google hits in the same way as Tin does.
The number of google hits plotted as a function of number of protons. This reveals the top three elements: 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Lead (where Lead has some help as a verb).
A trend can be seen with some elements clearly being more or less popular. Uranium seems to be almost a factor of ten times more popular than thorium but both are still clearly above the trend line. It is clear that there is room for considerable growth in popularity of thorium.
The number of google hits plotted as a function of element abundance reveals thorium to be placed almost in the center of the plot. Here it seems to be only slightly more abundant than uranium but that is due to the logarithmic x-axis. Thorium is about four times more abundant than uranium.
The Popularity Table of the Elements should be considered a challenge because next year we hope to measure our progress again, maybe even on a refined version of the table.
Taking thorium’s energy potential into account we believe it can one day compete with gold and silver on this Popularity Table of the Elements.
Andart, Popularity Table of the Elements