Origins of the Element Names_myths

Origins of the Element Names_myths - Origins of the Element...

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Origins of the Element Names Names Derived from Mythology or Superstition Contents: #33 As , #41 Cb ( Nb ), #27 Co , #41 Nb ( Cb ), #28 Ni , #61 Pm , #73 Ta , #90 Th , #22 Ti , #23 V , #74 W Arsenic (As = #33): Arsenikos (Greek) means brave, male. The alchemists related metals to gender. Copper objects were made more masculine (harder and stronger) by adding arsenic as early as 2000 BC. Adsorption of Arsenic caused loss of life to many of the slave miners. But the Greeks and Romans had a different concept of element. Their Arsenic were sulfide ores, orpiment and sandarac rather than the elemental metal. The first isolation of the metal element is unknown. The German Dominican scholar and alchemist, Albertus Magnus (1193-1280 at right→), in his book De Mineralibus described obtaining the metal by heating orpiment with soap. This and all other metals were considered compounds until Antoine- Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794) established a new definition for elements. Paracelsus vaguely mentioned in his 1658 Book of Minerals Kobald, a troublesome and worthless mineral found in large quantity in mines on the borders of Saxony and Bohemia. Miners disliked it because of the labor of removing it and because it often accompanied Arsenic which imperiled their health. Cobalt (Co = #27): Kobold (German) meant evil sprite. The Kobolts by German superstition delighted in destroying the work of miners, causing them endless trouble. Miners prayed in churches for deliverance from the power of these malicious spirits. Christoph Schürer of Platten, Bohemia, about the middle of the sixteenth century found that cobalt ore colored glass and pottery more intensely blue than copper. Low grade Cobalt ore could be used for bluing to counteract natural yellowing of laundry. Georg Brandt (1694-1768) discovered Cobalt metal. Brandt helped his father, an operator of a copper smelter and iron-works. He studied chemistry and medicine with Boerhaave in Leyden and receiving the degree of doctor of medicine at Reims. Returning home to Stockholm, he took charge of the Bureau of Mines laboratory and later the Royal Mint. About 1741 he wrote: As there are six kinds of metals, so I have also shown with reliable experiments. .. that there are also six kinds of half-metals: a new half-metal, namely Cobalt regulus in addition to Mercury, Bismuth, Zinc, and the reguluses of Antimony and Arsenic. He gave six ways to distinguish Bismuth and Cobalt which were typically found in the same ores:
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1. Bismuth fractures while Cobalt is more like a true metal. 2. In fusing, they do not mingle but attach about as a almond and its stone. 3. The regulus of Cobalt fuses with flint and fixed alkali giving a blue glass known as zaffera, sasre, or smalt . Bismuth does not. 4.
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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_myths - Origins of the Element...

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