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Your Questions About How To Discover New Elements

Susan asks…

What person discovered the element called carbon and when was it discovered?

who discovered carbon and when did they discover it?

New Niche Finder answers:

Carbon has always been known to “exist” as charcoal, but A.L. Lavoisier proposed carbon in 1789. Since then, it has been recognized as the basis for structure in the periodic table. Ex: Carbon 15

David asks…

Why was Marie Curie so significant? How have her accomplishments affected the world?

I’m doing a report on Marie Curie. I know she was a pioneer in physics and chemistry. She also made advancements in radiation by discovering the elements polonium and radium. But what is so significant about her discoveries? More importantly, how have her discoveries (polonium and radium) affected the modern world today?


New Niche Finder answers:

Marie Curie is one of the most celebrated women in the history of modern science. A pioneer in the field of radiology, she accomplished an impressive number of firsts: she was the first person to be honored with not just one, but two Nobel Prizes, one each in physics and chemistry. She was also the first female professor in the centuries-long history of the University of Paris. Along with her husband, also an accomplished scientist, she helped set the groundwork for a modern understanding of radioactivity – a term that Curie actually coined herself. Curie, birth name Maria Sklodowska, was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867. The daughter of a schoolteacher, she received a basic education at local schools and learned the rudiments of science from her father. Women were not allowed to attend the University of Warsaw at the time, and Maria and her patriotic Polish family chaffed under Russian rule. At age 23, she left for Paris, where she obtained degrees in Physics and Math. There she met Pierre Curie, a professor of physics; the two began a life-long collaboration in life and science, being wed in 1895.

Early on, the Curies struggled in their scientific pursuits. Laboratory and living conditions were sparse, cramped, and poor. But physics was a study of great importance in France, thanks to recent advances in the use of electricity, and other exciting discoveries. As Marie sought a research topic that would win her a doctorate, other researchers’ discoveries helped spur her scientific imagination. Working out of a storeroom, Marie studied x-rays and the mysterious “rays” given off by uranium, first noticed by French physicist Henri Becquerel. Curie’s experiments led her to the conclusion that the strength of the “rays” in minerals containing uranium depended only on the amount of uranium itself – with that, she had begun her foray into the frontiers of radiology. With the help of her husband, Marie Curie isolated many other radioactive elements After much hard work, her efforts led to the discovery of a new element – polonium – that was intensely radioactive. The discovery came in July of 1898, and by December, the couple had discovered another new element, radium.

Commercial companies began to fund the Curies’ research, giving them resources for a fully-stocked lab. In 1903 Marie Curie completed her thesis and became the first woman to receive a doctorate in France. That same year, the two were honored with a shared Nobel Prize in physics. Both Marie and Pierre grew ill with the passing of time, and in April 1906, Pierre died in a sudden accident. Marie soon took over his professorship and persuaded the French government to create a Radium Institute that would encourage science and honor Pierre’s memory. In 1911, Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, her work at the Radium Institute was postponed. With her daughter Irene as her assistant, Curie organized the creation and deployment of 20 mobile X-ray stations and 200 stationary X-ray machines to help those injured in the war. She also invented a means of delivering radioactive gas into patients’ bodies to destroy diseased tissue, developing the first radiation therapy. When the war ended, Curie worked hard to strengthen the Radium Institute and support her daughter’s research. Marie Curie died of complications from aplastic anemia – a blood disorder related to radiation exposure – in 1934, a year before Irene and her husband received the Nobel Prize for discovering artificial radiation. In her 66-year life, Curie had made many incredible discoveries, left an indelible mark on the modern world, and opened new horizons for women in the sciences. Even in death, she managed a final great accomplishment: she is the only woman buried at the Pantheon of Paris.

Lizzie asks…

I want to know how to determine the atomic structure of an unknown element using the mass spectrometre?

This question is from a past paper where a chemist has discovered a knew element.The question is How would you identify its different isotopes and determine its relative atomic structure?So I said I would use the instrument the Mass Spectrometre .I am able to determine what to do to identify the different iotopes with the instrument but I can not dtermine the aomic structure.Then the second part of the question is’How would you attempt to determine its atomic number of the element that chemist discovered.

New Niche Finder answers:

The atomic structure of an element??? That doesn’t make any sense. Elements, in their solid state, have a crystalline structure which can be determined using X-ray diffraction.

With a mass spec, you can determine the atomic mass of the element (and it’s isotopes) along with the relative abundance of each isotope. You wouldn’t be able to get any info regarding the structure from a mass spec.

As I said before, to get the crystal structure of an element, you need to use x-ray diffraction. To get the atomic structure of a compound, use can use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, or Raman spectroscopy.

Thomas asks…

I would like to know what elements are actually included in calculating the inflation rate in the US.?

I am looking to discover what elements are included in calculating the core inflation rate.

New Niche Finder answers:

Read here

Betty asks…

Who discovered the most periodic elements?

I want to do a famous dead person review on the chemist who discovered the most elements on the periodic table.

New Niche Finder answers:

You might want to look at Humphry Davy:


You might not find as much on Albert Ghiorso:


Another possibility is Glenn Seaborg:


Best wishes with your project.

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