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Digital Subscriptions > Rock&Gem Magazine > September 2019 > Discovery of Elements

Discovery of Elements

German doctor Georg Bauer’s wrote “De re Metallica,” the first book to reveal secrets of mining.

The ancient legend of the Greek Archimedes running naked down the street of Syracuse yelling “Eureka, I’ve found it!” had to do withhis discovery of a specific gravity testing method. He had found a way to determine if Greek King Hiero’s new gold crown was pure and not adulterated withanother metal. What Archimedes deduced while taking a bathwas that the specific gravity of an object could be determined by measuring the ratio of the density of the object to the density of the water it displaced.

What does this have to do withour discovery of the elements? An unknown element found in the 1500s, which was heavier than an equal amount of gold, resulted in the King of France declaring a sentence of deathfor anyone who owned the unknown mineral.

As you might suspect, the elements on the periodic table each have a history of discovery. Some were recognized and collected because of an unusual property like yellow gold. Others were discovered by accident like phosphorus was in the 1500s. Reading about the discovery of each element is fascinating, and some elements have an odd or curious history of discovery, which I find appealing. As we read about these elements, it is paramount to remember the amazing dedication and diligence of those scientists whose persistence, often at their own peril, lead to the discovery of the great font of knowledge about elements.

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Rock & Gem September 2019, Generations Of Gems : Carrying on the Legacy, Limestone Agates, Prized Platinum, Enchanting Amethyst, And More....