Chapter 14: Artistic Elements

By Emi Benton

Synopsis

Chapter 14 goes over writers, chemists, and entrepreneurs who dealt with the elements. But why they dealt with the elements, they weren't exactly experts. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of these writers. While he thought he was an expert, many of his writings disproved this. Another man they go over, a "chemist", was J. W. Dobereiner.

He was actually a friend of Goethe, and consequently had as much expertise as him. But, he did figure out strontium was a "blend" of calcium and barium, so he wasn't completely hopeless.

The next two gentlemen are Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a designer, and Kenneth Parker, an entrepreneur. Moholy-Nagy coined the terms "forced obsolescence" and "artificial obsolescence". Kenneth studied up on these terms and ended up creating a famous pen. Also mentioned is Mark Twain, Marie Curie, and Robert Lowell. These were two authors, one of them mentally ill, and a chemist. These people's stories intertwine together, with other people's and the elements, dysprosium, praseodymium, strontium, ruthenium, radium, and lithium.

Dysprosium & Praseodymium

The first two elements mentioned in the book are Dysprosium and Praseodymium. Dysprosium is a transition metal, and it's atomic number is 66 and atomic mass is 162.50. It's electron configuration is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^2 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 4p^6 5s^2 4d^10 5p^6 6s^2. It's group is the Lanthanide and it's period is 6. Dysprosium is found mostly in nature, in minerals. It's very hard to isolate though. It was discovered in 1886 by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran. the name come from the root "dysprositos" which mean hard to get

Praseodymium is also a transition metal, it's atomic number is 59, and atomic mass is 140.91. It's electron configuration is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^2 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 4p^6 5s^2 4d^10 5p^6 6s^2. It's group is also Lanthanide and it's period is also 6. It's not found in nature, but in ores containing all rare earth metals. it name comes from "prasios didymos" which means green twin. It was discovered in Austria by Carl F. Auer von Welsbach.

Strontium & Ruthenium

The second two are strontium and ruthenium. Strontium is an alkaline earth metal, and it's atomic number is 38 and it's atomic mass is 87.62. It's electron configuration is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 4p^6 5s^2. It's group is 2 and it's period is 5. It was discovered by Adair Crawford in 1790. It's not found in nature, it's found in ores. It was named after a village in Scotland.

Ruthenium is a transition metal, it's atomic mass is 101.07 and it's atomic number 44. It's electron configuration 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3p^10 4p^6 5s^2 4d^6. It can not be found in nature, it's a free metal and can be found in a few ores. It was discovered by Karl Karlovich Klaus in Russia. It was named after the word "Ruthenia" meaning Russia.

Radium & Lithium

Radium and Lithium are the third elements mentioned. Radium is an alkaline earth metal, it's atomic mass 226.03 and atomic number is 88. It's electron configuration is 1s^2 2s^2 2p^2 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 4p^6 5s^2 4d^10 5p^6 6s^2. It was discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie in France. It came from "Radius" meaning ray. Radium can be found in uranium ores.

Lithium is an alkali metal, it's atomic number is 3 and it's atomic mass is 6.94. It's electron configuration is 1s^2 2s^1. "lithos" which means stone. It was found by Johan August Arfvedson in 1817. Lithium is not a free metal though, "It is a minor component of nearly all igneous rocks and is a component of many natural brines (see below). Large deposits are located in California and Nevada (both in the USA) in several rock forms, particularly spodumene. The four main lithium minerals are spodumene, lepidolite, petalite, and amblygonite." (WebElements).

summary

As it stated before, people's stories trough out this chapter intertwine with the elements. Name's such as Dysprosium and praseodymium show how the rich and elite took over science. Dobereiner studied strontium and discovered it was a "blend", which was the foundation of the periodic table. Ruthenium capped a famous pen, the parker 51. Radium inspired one of Mark Twain's stories "Sold to Satan", where Satan was entirely made of it and actually glowed green (because radium charges the air around it electrically). Robert Lowell had a manic-depressive illness, and had to take lithium to balance it out. These elements all impacted lives and art that we read about today.

Citations and quiz