Origins of the Element Names_people

Origins of the Element Names_people - Origins of the...

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Origins of the Element Names Elements Named for Minerals Contents: #4 Be , #5 B , #9 F , #11 Na , #13 Al , #14 Si , #19 K , #20 Ca , #40 Zr , #42 Mo , #56 Ba , #62 Sm , #64 Gd In the early seventeenth century an Italian cobler, Vincenzo Casciarolo, found that glittering stones found near Bologna formed what became known as Bologna stone or phosphorus when heated red hot with a combustible substance. These rather dense stones would glow in the dark after long exposure to the sun or other bright light. In 1774 while investigating pryolusite, a substance long used in the manufacture of glass, Carl W. Scheele (at left), noticed embedded small crystals. Scheele found these contained a new alkalie which gave white precipitates with sulfuric acid and vitriols. Scheele called the earth Schwerspatherde meaning the earth of heavy spar. Having a relatively high density of 4.5 g/cm 3 , the mineral (BaSO 4 ) became known as baryte and the alkalie baryta after the (Greek) barys meaning heavy. Scheele wrote and sent a sample to his fellow Swede J.G. Gahn who had also investigated pryolusite, asking if he had noticed them. Gahn investigated and found the substance had the same composition as Bologna stone. Metallic Barium (Ba = #56) was first prepared by Humphry Davy in 1808. Before 1600, soft black minerals (graphite, Sb 2 S 3 , PbS, MoS 2 ) that leave black marks were all called molybdos, molybdän, or molybdenum . In 1754 Bengt Qvist investigated a molybdenite mineral from Bispberg and found that when muffled gave off dense black fumes and sulfurous odor, leaving glistening white crystals. Eliminating Lead as an ingredient, he concluded molybdenite contained something metallic. Carl Scheele thought molybdaena (MoS 2 ) somewhat peculiar, collected samples, and in 1778 ground a mixture he made with potassium sulfate, then washed his grinding agent away. Unlike graphite, the powdered molybdaena decomposed with nitric acid to an acidic white powder. He then requested a friend to reduce the powder by strongly heating with a paste of charcoal and linseed oil. Scheele called the metal that formed Molybdenum (Mo = #42) since Molybdos was Greek for lead. A turreted castle caps St. Michael's Mount sticking out of the Bay on the Cornwall coast of England. Humphry Davy (1778-1829 below left) was born in Penzance
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overlooking the Mount in 1778. Early in life Davy gained the knack of telling stories. After his formal schooling ended at age 15, he apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary in Penzance and two years later began a study of Laviosier's Elements of Chemistry . He used wine glasses and tobacco pipes as apparatus to study mineral acids and alkalies. At 20 he became superintendent of a new institution for studying the medicinal value of gases. At 22 Count Rumford obtained for Davy the position of laboratory director and lecturer's assistant at the Royal Institution in London where he remained 11 years until retiring upon his marriage. Davy's story telling skills made his presentations delightful to
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This note was uploaded on 07/19/2009 for the course PSE 121 taught by Professor Walker during the Spring '09 term at City Colleges of Chicago.

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Origins of the Element Names_people - Origins of the...

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