|MadSci Network: Science History|
Here are the sites where I found the origin of the name Titanium: http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/Ti.html http://www.vanderkrogt.net/elements/elem/ti.html The name, Titanium, come from the Titans in Greek Mythology - in which the Titans were the first sons of the earth. Titanium was discovered by William Gregor in 1791 and was named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth four years later. Here is his explanation for choosing the name: "Whenever no name can be found for a new fossil which indicates its peculiar and characteristic properties (in which situation I find myself at present) I think it best to choose such a denomination as means nothing of itself, and thus can give no rise to any erroneous ideas. (Lavoisier had suggested similar precautions for naming new elements.) In consequence of this, as I did in the case of Uranium, I shall borrow the name for this metallic substance from mythology, and in particular from the Titans, the first sons of the earth. I therefore call this new metallic genus Titanium." " Nonetheless, with its unusual strength, the metal Titanium does seem to fit its name. It was nearly a hundred years later (1887) when impure titanium was first prepared by Nilson and Pettersson. Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the earth's crust and is found in meteorites, in the sun, in the ash of coal, in star sapphires and rubies (it is TiO2 that gives them their asterism - a highly valued 6 ray "star" effect seen in some sapphires and rubies when viewed with a single light source such as a pen-light), in plants and even in the human body.
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