Cobalt By: Sarah Flynn
Cobalt is known to have helped treat cancer due to its radioactivity. It is used to speed up or slow down chemical reactions. Cobalt is famous for the beautiful blue color it creates, which is used to color glass, pottery, make up, paints, inks, and rubber. It is also used in a super alloy turbine to generate electricity.
Cobalt’s symbol is Co. Cobalt’s name comes from the German word for demon or evil spirit, Kobold. It is said that it was called Kobold because it was extremely difficult and dangerous for the miners to extract. When heated, it gave an offensive odor that made the miners sick. When authorized as an element, it was given a version of the original German name, Cobalt. It has no other names other than cobalt or kobold.
Cobalt has a hard, grey appearance. It is ductile and only semi-malleable. It has an atomic mass of 58.9332. It belongs to the family 9. (WARNING: NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH IRON OR NICKEL!) Its atomic # is 27 and its atomic weight is 58.933195. Its melting point is 1768 K (1495°C or 2723°F) and its boiling point is 3200 K (2927°C or 5301°F). Cobalt's density is 8.86 grams per cubic centimeter. Cobalt is solid at room temperature. Its elemental classification is metal.
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Cobalt was discovered by Georg Brandt. Georg Brandt was a Swedish chemist who was born in Riddarhyta, Sweden. From an early age, he helped his father, an ironworker, with his experiments. He studied medicine and chemistry at Leiden, and gained his MD at Rheims in 1726. He discovered cobalt by hypothesizing that the color blue, originally known as smalt was actually due to the presence of an unknown metal or semimetal. He named this ‘cobalt rex’ from the Old Teutonic ‘kobold’, originally meaning ‘demon’. In 1742 Brandt isolated cobalt, and found it was magnetic and alloyed with iron. Brandt then went on to study the dissolution of gold in concentrated acid.
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Cobalt is known to have been around since 400 BC, it wasn’t known that it was responsible for the blue color it made. It was previously assumed to be bismuth, which is typically found with cobalt. Since Georg Brandt was the first one to discover that it was cobalt and not bismuth that gave glass and paints a blue color in 1742, he is credited with the discovery.
Cobalt is found in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Congo, Russia, and Zambia. It is found on the crust of the earth. It is found in period 4 and group 9 on the periodic table.
chromium- together cobalt and chromium have predicted the failure of metal on metal hip replacements.
calcium and oxide- along with cobalt, calcium and oxide have made a decent thermoelectric material due to its non toxicity, light weight, high thermal and chemical stability, and oxidation resistance.
Cobalt’s isotope 60 is extremely radioactive and cobalt itself is unstable. Only one isotope, isotope 59, is stable.
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- Johanson, Paula. Cobalt. New York: Rosen Central, 2008. Print.