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Your Questions About How To Discover New Elements

Lisa asks…

What was the first element discovered?

i don’t want silly answers like:
maybe oxygen or gold or earth.

Definition of a element discovery is to isolate it, in its pure form, and characterise its properties in a documented form.

I heard somewhere it was nickel in 1751 by Axel fredrick but im not sure this is correct.

New Niche Finder answers:

Probably phosphorus by Henning Brand in 1669.

Nickel was 1751, but it was Axel Cronstedt (Swedish).

Albertus Magnus discovered arsenic in about 1250, but he would have approached it more from the “alchemy” angle, so I doubt he would have documented in a way we would recognise as “chemistry”.

Chris asks…

How is the atomic spacing of an element discovered?

How do scientists find out the atomic spacing of an element. The atomic spacing is used to find the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave, because it refracts when the wavelength is nearly the same as the atomic spacing of an element it is fired at. But how do you know what the atomic spacing of that element is?

New Niche Finder answers:

With out knowing to much on the subject, I would say that they first find the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave through other means. For example you can determine the energy of an EM wave and then calculate the wavelength using E=ℎc/λ.

Then use the laws of diffraction to determine the atomic spacing.
I know that it is diffraction that is generally used to determine atomic spacing. Again there are several ways to determine the wavelength of an EM wave.

Ken asks…

What are the most exciting elements from the book The Lightning Thief?

What are the most exciting elements from the book The Lightning Thief?

New Niche Finder answers:

It depends on what you mean by exciting. I do not want to give away the book to you but i found the book very fast paced and good. But i guess when he discovers who the evil corrupt person is, and when he finds out who he is are pretty good parts. Though I really liked the capture the flag part when they are at camp but thats just me.

John asks…

How do scientists tell an element from a compound or an alloy?

Like for example,Iron,how did scientists,when they found Iron,know if it was an element or a compound or an alloy? We couldn’t see the atoms,so how did we know if something was a compound or an element? Maybe we got it through multiple number of processes,but how did we know after that it was now in its elemental form,how did we know the number of electrons,protons and neutrons in it?

New Niche Finder answers:

Elements were discovered long before the idea of electrons/protons/neutrons were found.

The idea is that you try to do anything you can think of to a substance (heat, electricity, acids, bases, etc.) and if you can break it down, it wasn’t an element.

Iron can’t be broken down into anything else. You can take steel and drive off the carbon, but the iron remains.

Water is an interesting one. Without electrolysis, it’s very hard to separate. But oxygen and hydrogen were known, and one could create water by burning them. So it was known that water was made of these substances.

Nancy asks…

Why did it take 80 years longer to discover Francium than any other alkali metal?

Why did it take them 80 years to discover Francium after all the other alkali metals?

New Niche Finder answers:

Because Francium is right at the bottom of Group I alkali metals , so the Francium atom is largest, compared to all the other elements above it in Group I such as sodium, potassium and cesium. Thus makes the electrostatic force of attraction between valence electrons in Francium & the nucleus the weakest as they are the furthest away. Thus, francium atom can lose its valence electrons to form ionic compounds much more readily than the other elements in Group I .

Because it is so reactive, it is very rarely found in its pure state and isolated from other elements .

That is why it took a longer time to discover it.

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