Where Atoms Come From:

"We Are All Star Stuff"

SYNOPSIS

It all started with the big bang. Elements have been a huge part of the Earth since it was created, but they aren't created or destroyed. They're just there. Elements are in everything in the universe, not just Earth. They are included in some of the rocky planets such as Venus, Mercury and Mars. In this chapter, the author discusses Iron, Neon, Iridium, Lead, and Rhenium.

Iron

Atomic Number: 26

Atomic Mass: 55.85

Period: 4

Group: 8

Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d6

Classification: Transition Metal

Found: Usually found in stars

Why is this element important? Iron is the most common used metal in the world. It makes up 95% of metal production. It is part of every day life.

Where was it discovered? There is evidence of people in Mesopotamia smelting iron around 5000 B.C.

Who discovered it? Iron has been known about since ancient times, there is no record of who discovered it.

What is it named after? The atomic symbol for iron is Fe which stands for Ferren which is the Latin name for Iron.

Unique Characteristics:


  • the color of iron is silvery-gray
  • Iron is non-toxic
  • good conductor of heat and electricity
  • very reactive metal
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Neon

Atomic Number: 10

Atomic Mass: 20.18

Period: 2

Group: 18

Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6

Classification: Noble Gas

Found: commonly found in the Earth's crust

Why is this element important? When thousands of volts are added to Neon, it emits a bright colorful light used in brightly lit signs. Liquid neon is used for refrigerators to cool things.

Where was it discovered? University College London

Who discovered it? William Ramsey and Morris Travers

What is it named after? Neon is Greek for "new" because Ramsay and Travers were very excited about the discovery of this new element.

Unique Characteristics:

  • colorless under normal conditions
  • smallest liquid range of any of the elements
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Lead

Atomic Number: 82

Atomic Mass: 207.2

Period: 6

Group: 14

Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f14 5d10 6p2

Classification: Other Metal

Found: Most lead is found in America's recycling system

Why is this element important? Lead isn't as important now as it was in the earlier years. It used to be used in paint and pipes, but because lead is poisonous it is now illegal to put lead in those things.

Where was it discovered? There is no clear time period that Lead was discovered.

Who discovered it? Lead has been around since ancient times so we don't know who discovered it,

What is it named after? Roman word for Lead is "plumbum nigrum" meaning black lead. That is where the symbol Pb comes from.

Unique Characteristics:

  • lead is a blue-gray color
  • poor conductor of electricity
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Iridium

Atomic Number: 77

Atomic Mass: 192.22

Period: 6

Group: 9

Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f14 5d7 6s2

Classification: Transition Metal

Found: Iridium is found mostly in rocks from 65 million years ago

Why is this element important? The main use of iridium is a hardening agent for platinum

Where was it discovered? London

Who discovered it? Smithson Tennant

What is it named after? From the Latin name "iris" which means "colorful" because its salts are colorful

Unique Characteristics:

  • has a low toxicity
  • very nonreactive
  • very dense

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Rhenium

Atomic Number: 75

Atomic Mass: 186.21

Period: 6

Group: 7

Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f14 5d7

Classification: Transition Metal

Found: Rhenium is only found in traces of platinum and in minerals that include columbite, molybdenite, and gadolinite.

Why is this element important? It is used along with platinum in the making of gasoline

Where was it discovered? Russia

Who discovered it? Dmitri Mendeleev

What is it named after? Latin word "Rhenus" meaning "Rhine"

Unique Characteristics:

  • tarnishes in air
  • silvery-white dense metal
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SOURCES

Rhenium Element Facts. (2016). Retrieved January 15, 2016, from http://www.chemicool.com/elements/rhenium.html