Chapter 16

"Chemistry way, way below zero" By: Katie Khang

Sypnopsis

Robert Falcon Scott and his band of englishmen were determined to be the first to reach the South Pole. On January 1912, when Scott and his five men finally arrived they arrived to realize the Norwegian, team had arrived a month earlier. During the way back Scott and his team had experimented on tin enriched and pure tin solders; when tin is refined and purified, pure tin gets cold with a white rust covering them, the white rust would then break, weaken and corrode the tin, until it crumbled and eroded away. This occurs because tin atoms can arrange themselves inside a solid in two different ways, and when they get cold, they shift from a beta form to a crumbly, powdery alpha form. Usually it takes extreme conditions to cause the rearrangement of atoms.

It took scientist thirty-seven years to piece together the right procedure for argon in 2000. They named the scientific work " A stable argon compound." In 1957 scientists solved that electrons transform themselves at low temperatures. At low temperatures electrons do not separate and remain isolated, but instead they bond together. This theory is known as the BCS theory of superconductivity. If elements are cooled below superconducting temps., then atoms begin to overlap and swallow each other, in a state called coherence. The most powerful impressive lasers today (capable of producing beams that produce more power than the United States) uses crystals of yttrium crystal and flashes incredibly quick high intensities. The infusion made to execute this light is neodymium, which makes the electrons in this fusion jump much higher than the normal range. Instead of emitting normal lights though the electrons, this laser shakes and releases the electrons as heat.

Temperature just measures the average speed of a particle. Hot molecules move very fast, while cold molecules just drag along. The scientists used a theory called "Optical molasses," to slow down the atoms concluded in Rubidium. When the Rubidium atoms moved through the molasses, the lasers bounced off them with low intensity photons. With this movement through the molasses, the Rubidium absorbed photons from all sides and they eventually dropped to 1/10,000 of a degree above absolute zero. Eric Cornell and Carl Weiman created a second phase of cooling where a magnet would repeatedly suck off the hot remaining atoms in the Rubidium gas. By doing this the scientist were able to lower the temperature to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero. At this point, the sample of two thousand Rubidium atoms collapse into Bose Einstein Condensate, the coldest, gooiest, and non fragile mass of the universe was ever known and made.

Ar- Argon

Atomic number- 18
Atomic mass- 39.95
Period- 3
Group- 18
Electron configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6
Classification/Family- Noble gas

Location Geographically- Argon can specifically be found in our very own atmosphere as it makes up .94% of earths atmosphere. Argon is obtained by the distillation of liquid air (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Importance- Argon is often used when an inactive atmosphere is needed. Argon is used like this for the production of Titanium and other reactive elements (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Where the element was found and by whom- Argon was found by Lord Rayleigh and William Ramsay when it was first separated from liquid air (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Unique Characteristics- Argon is a colorless, odorless gas, and also the third most abundant atmospheric gas (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

-It took 37 years to produce argon (Chpt 16, Pg 146)

-Argon holds the title for the hardest element humans have forced into a compound (Chpt 16, Pg 146)

Nd- Neodymium

Atomic number- 60

Atomic mass- 144.24
Period- 6
Group- Lanthanide Series
Electron configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f4 5d0 6s2
Classification/Family- Transition metals

Location Geographically- Neodymium can be mined in Brazil, China, The U.S. and many other countries. Neodymium is found in lanthanide elements such as the minerals monazite and bastnaesite. Neodymium can be removed from these minerals by ion exchange and solvent extraction (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Importance- Neodymium is in an alloy with iron and boron which makes very strong permanent magnets (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Where the element was found and by whom- Neodymium was discovered by Karl Auer. It was extracted from didymium in 1839 (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Unique Characteristic- It is a silvery white metal, that tarnishes rapidly in air (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).


-The Neodymium-yttrium crystal has done its work to produce coherent, concentrated light, beams so powerful they can induce thermonuclear fusion, yet so focused they can sculpt a cornea without frying the rest of the eye (Chpt 16, Pg 148)

Sn- Tin

Atomic number- 50
Atomic mass- 118.71
Period- 5
Group- 14
Electron configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p2
Classification/Family- Other Metals

Location Geographically- Tin is most graphically found in China (Machu picchu) , Peru, and Bolivia. The most common ore of tin is cassiterite, which is a form of tin oxide (SnO 2 ). An ore is a compound where an element can be extracted for profit. Cassiterite has been mined as a source of tin (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).
* An ore is a compound that is mainly used for iron and is made into the form of steel.

Importance- Tin is mostly used in a combination of two or more metals, tin is also used for many other things such as tin plates which is a thin sheet of steel and a protective coating of tin. Tin is also used to make floating glass and the metal is used to wrap things "Tin foil" (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Where the element was found and by whom- Tin was found by the Chinese mining around 700 BC in the province of Yunnan (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Unique Characteristics- Tin is soft, pliable metal. When tin reaches below 13°C it slowly changes into a powder form. The alpha beta shift of tin can release enough energy to cause a large amount of audible groaning, called tin scream ( even though it has the similarity of stereo static sound) (Chpt 16, pg 145).


-When Tin is refined and purified, in cold temperatures a white rust covers the tin and begins to corrode and crumble the tin (Chpt 16, pg 145).

Rb- Rubidium

Atomic number- 37
Atomic mass- 85.47
Period- 5
Group- 1
Electron configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s1
Classification/Family- Alkali Metals

Location Geographically- Rubidium can be found in earths crust in the continents North America, South Africa, Russia, and Canada. Most rubidium is retrieved from the minerals lepidolite (a mica mineral) and pollucite. Both of these minerals are typical of a special igneous deposit known as a pegmatite (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Importance- Rubidium is rarely used outside of research. Rubidium has been used as a factor of photocells, to remove traces of oxygen from vacuum tubes and to make different types of glass (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).


Where the element was found and by whom- The mineral lithium potassium lepidolite was discovered in the 1760s by Gustav Kirchoff and Robert Bunsen. When the mineral was thrown on to glowing coals it frothed and then hardened like glass. This showed it to contain lithium and potassium, but it was really Rubidium. Rubidium was later made into a sample by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

Unique Characteristics- Rubidium is a soft metal that ignites in the air and acts violently with water (Royal society of chemistry, 2015).

-Rubidium atoms first collapsed into Bose Einstein Condensate, the coldest, gooiest, and not fragile mass of the universe was ever known and made (Chpt 16, Pg 151)

Summary

The elements Tin, Argon, Rubidium, and Neodymium each has played an important part in the history of chemistry. In the book "The Disappearing spoon," the author Sam Kean told us his experience with or about these elements and how he saw them. Kean also showed us a simpler way to understand and look at the dynamics of each of these elements. His explanation and perspective showed how the elements where different on their own, but also showed how when they were experimented with, what amazing things were created with these specific elements. Without some of these elements today we wouldn't be able to have the things we have today like, parts of our atmosphere, certain products that we use in our daily life, metals, and etc.

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References

Royal Society of Chemistry. (2015). Tin - Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from

http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/50/tin


Royal Society of Chemistry. (2015). Neodymium - Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from

http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/60/neodymium


Royal society of Chemistry. (2015). Rubidium - Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from

http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/37/rubidium


Royal Society of chemistry. (2015). Argon - Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from

http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/18/argon