On this date in 1716, Antonio de Ulloa was born in Spain. He grew up to be an officer in the Spanish navy and the first Spanish governor of Louisiana...but he was also known for his explorations, his scientific observations and records. One of these observations was a “new” metal, which he “discovered” in Colombia; this is often credited as the modern discovery of the element platinum. (I put the words new and discovered in quotes because some peoples had mined and used platinum before this time.)
On this date in 1792, Johan August Arfwedson was born in Sweden. He grew up to be a chemist, and he discovered the element lithium by isolating it (as a salt) from the mineral petalite. (Later chemists would isolate lithium as a metal.)
Platinum v. Lithium
- Which of these elements is silvery or silvery white in color?
- Which is the lightest metal (atomic number 3)?
- Which is the least reactive metal – that is, the metal that is least likely to combine with other elements?
- Which is a very heavy metal (atomic number 78)?
- Which is used in batteries?
- Which is so valuable that its name is commonly used in medals and credit cards (among other items) to mean “even better than gold.”
- Which metal is denser?
- Which is sometimes used in aircraft due to its great strength-to-weight ratio?
ANSWERS: 1.both lithium and platinum are silver or silvery white in color – 2.lithium has only three protons and four neutrons – 3.platinum – 4.platinum has 78 protons and around 117 neutrons – 5.lithium – 6.platinum – 7.platinum – 8.lithium
Also on this date: