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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