Elemental naming

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The naming of the elements is a fascinating history. Interested readers are advised to consult PT Atkins's delightful book, The Periodic Kingdom, for more info. Also, GPeriodic is one hell of a useful little tool -- props!

  • Hydrogen - Greek hydro + genus, "water-giving"
    • Produced/described by Von Hohenheim (Paracelsus), discretized by Cavendish (1766)
    • Named by Lavoisier (1793) upon producting water via combusting H2 + O2
  • Helium - Greek helios for the sun, where it was first found (Janssen, 1868)
  • Lithium - Greek lithos, "stone" (Arfvedson, 1817)
  • Beryllium - Greek beryllos named its ore, "beryl" (Vauquelin, 1798)
  • 31 - Gallium (Ga) - from Latin Gallia meaning France (but see "Le coq" story)
    • Predicted by Mendeleev in 1871 as eka-aluminum
    • Discovered by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1875 via sphalerite spectrometry
  • 85 - Astatine (At) - astatos (ἄστατος), "unstable"
    • Rarest natural element in the Earth's crust
  • 87 - Francium (Fr) - from France (Marguerite Perey at Curie Institue)
    • Last element discovered in nature before synthesized