Chapter 15: An Element of Madness

By: Justice ZIon

Synopsis

Chapter Fifteen of The Disappearing Spoon is about William Crookes, Pons, and Fleischmann. This chapter uses many different experiences that always has a fact or lesson to be learned at the end. William Crookes recently lost his brother which Crookes overreacted. Therefore, this made him go "mad" and he became obsessed with trying to communicate with supernatural beings. Throughout his process he started using selenium and radioactivity. Throughout his scientific finding, Crookes uses his ideas and evidence to back the manganese found in shark teeth. From here two scientists named Pons and Fleischmann studied the electricity found in waves, which pointed towards Palladium. William Crookes was known as a fraud but yet he was the one who came with the idea of pathological science that had such a significant reaction in science.
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Selenium (Se)

Atomic number- 34

Atomic Mass- 78.96

Period- 4

Group- 16

Electron Configuration- 1s2s2p3s3p4s3d4p

Classification- Nonmetal

Found- Selenium is found in rare minerals. Selenium is also found in some anode mud.

Why is this element important?- Selenium is a very important additive or factor that goes into the formation of glass (Chapter 15, . Also selenium is found in dandruff, therefore is found very useful in making the anti-dandruff shampoo(The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Where was it discovered?- Selenium was discovered in Stockholm in 1817 (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Who discovered it?- Jon Jacob Berzelius (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013).

Who was it named after?- The element is named after "moon" in Greek Selene (Chapter 15, 134)

Unique Characteristics-in humans, the depletion of selenium in the bloodstream of AIDS patients is a fatally accurate harbinger of death (Chapter 15, 134)

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Manganese (Mn)

Atomic Number- 25

Atomic Mass- 54.93

Period- 4

Group- 7

Electron Configuration- 1s^22s^22p^63s^23p^63d^54s^2

Classification- Metal

Found- Manganese is usually found in a combination of iron and many other elements. it is not your typical element you find in nature or out and about. Most of Manganese id found in galvanized shark teeth (Chapter 15, 136)

Why is this element important?- It is important because it's used in steel. It's too brittle to use in many other objects. (Chapter 15, 136)

Where was it discovered?- Venice, Ignatius Kaim (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Who discovered it?- Johan Gottelieb Gahn 79(The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Who was it named after?- Either Latin for 'magnes' meaning magnet, or from the black magnesium oxide 'magnesia nigra' (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Unique Characteristics- A very hard, silvery metal (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

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Palladium (Pd)

Atomic Number- 46

Atomic Mass- 106.42

Period- 5

Group- 10

Electron Configuration- 1s^22s^22p^63s^23p^63d^104s^24p^64d^10

Classification- Transition Metal

Found- It can be found in Brazil. Palladium is usually found in nature

Why is this element important?- Palladium is important because it plays a big role in dentistry or just teeth. Lots of fillings have Palladium in them. (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Where was it discovered?- Brazil, by miners (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Who discovered it?- William Hyde Wollaston

Who was it named after?- It is named after the Greek goddess, Pallas (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Unique Characteristics-Palladium has no know biological role

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Barium (Ba)

Atomic Number- 56

Atomic Mass- 137.327

Period- 6

Group- 2

Electron Configuration- 1s^22s^22p^63s^23p^63d^104s^24p^64d^105s^25p^66s^2

Classification- Alkaline Earth Metal

Found- a combination or abundance of other elements, it is found in many types of algae(The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Why is this element important?- Used for drilling, or has also been known to be found in rat poison (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013).

Where was it discovered?- Royal Institution in London

Who discovered it?- Humphry Davy (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Who was it named after?- Greek word 'barys' -heavy (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

Unique Characteristics- A very toxic element, gives fireworks the green color that is shown. (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013)

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Roentgenium (Rg)

Atomic Number- 111

Atomic Mass- 272

Period- 7

Group- 11

Electron Configuration-

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p6 5f14 6d10 7s^1 (Chemical Aid, 2008)

Classification- Transition Metal

Found- Man-made element

Why is this element important?- This element is very important for research and to show bone features (Chapter 15, 140)

Where was it discovered?- Russian Joint Institute, Germany (Chapter 15, 140)

Who discovered it?- Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (Chapter 15, 141)

Who was it named after?- Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (Chapter 15, 141)

Unique Characteristics- Only used in research, and has no outside knowledge besides that. Rontgen won a Nobel prize for realizing that the 'mystery beams' contained roentgenium. (Chapter 15, 141)

Summary

The pathological science that Crookes used was a major deal in chemistry. Each element has their own unique way of being formed and created. These elements are very significant for research and knowledge about the surroundings in which they are found. Either man-made, or natural these elements all affect our daily life. William Crooks, Rontgen, Pons, and Fleischmann all had lots of data and knowledge about the elements found that had huge outcomes, like x-rays, shark teeth, radioactivity, etc. These elements helped make significant changes with animals and humans in the past and are making them in the present also.

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