An image of the symbol for rare earth Promethium Chemical Element.

Promethium: The Elusive Element 61

September 27, 2022

In 1902, chemist, Bohuslav Brauner pointed at the presence of element 61, placed between neodymium and samarium. But, the element in question, promethium, was detected only after 44 years, by physicist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee. […]

An image of rare earth elements symbols.

Rare Earth Metals: Discovery and Purification Processes

September 26, 2022

As the name misleadingly suggests, rare earth metals aren’t rare but just hidden. It is purifying them that’s the tough part, as most of them are found alongside each other and up to 5 elements can be found mixed in one sample alone. […]

An image of cadmium, mercury and lead on the periodic table.

Zinc, Cadmium, and Mercury: The Post-Transition Metals

September 14, 2022

The group 12 metals are post-transition metals. It is their chemical properties, such as losing only their s-subshell electrons on oxidation while the d-subshell is still full, which makes them behave more like alkaline earth metals. […]

An image of gold, silver, copper square bars.

The Coinage Metals: What Counts as a Transition Metal?

September 13, 2022

According to the IUPAC definition, in order to be categorized as transition metal, the metal should be able to give rise to ions with an incomplete d-subshell. Copper, silver, and gold do that but extremely grudgingly, or in some cases, rarely. Thus, they just about barely make the cut when it comes to being transition metals. […]

An image of iridium element from the periodic table.

Osmium and Iridium: Explaining the Extinction of Dinosaurs

September 8, 2022

Since iridium is very rare on the earth’s surface but abundant in the solar system, it became easy to validate the meteor theory as the cause for the extinction of dinosaurs. Finding astoundingly huge quantities around the time they were thought to have gone extinct, proved the theory right. […]

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