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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Suspenseful Discovery of Elements

Antoine Lavoisier not only identified and named oxygen, but he proved sulfur was an element.

Rock & Gem continues to celebrate the chemical elements since the United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. Hie discovery of many of the elements during the last five centuries is fascinating and as full of detective suspense as any murder mystery.

In the On The Rocks column of the March issue, we described how Hennig Brand, in the mid-1560s, accidentally discovered phosphorus while searching for the elixir of life. This was the first element extracted from a compound. By that time the alchemists studying matter were changing and the modern science of chemistry was emerging. Scientific principles were being developed and the search for elements became a formal not accidental scientific quest.

By the 1500s we already knew of a number of naturally occurring elements. Gold, copper, mercury and several others were found in their natural state though they were not recognized as true elements that could not be changed through ordinary chemical means.

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Rock & Gem June 2019, Jasper Orbs : Formation of Unique Features, Turquoise Mining, Special Section : Tools of the Trade, And More...