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Metal Story: Molybdenum (Mo)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Molybdenum (Mo) – Iron’s Ally In order to make a tasty dish the cook adds different spices to it. In order to give steel valuable properties, the steelmaker uses various alloying elements. Every spice serves a specific purpose. One improves the taste of the dish, another makes it fragrant and appetizing, a third makes it piquant, etc. It is hard to describe everything that spices do. But it is even harder to enumerate all the wonderful qualities that steel acquires when chromium, titanium, nickel, tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium, zirconium ...

Metal Story: Aluminum (Al)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Aluminum (Al) – Silver from Clay The dimension historian Pliny the Elder relates a remarkable event that took place almost two millenia ago. One day a stranger came to see the Roman Emperor Tiberius and made him a present of a cup made from a metal which was shiny like silver but very light. The man explained that he had obtained the new metal from clay. Apparently gratutude was a feeling that seldom burdened. Tiberius and he was a short-sighted ruler. Fearing that the new metal with its ...

Metal Story: Nickel (Ni)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Nickel (Ni) – The “Copper Devil” Probably not many women know that in the old days when their great-grandmothers were young charming ladies they loved nickel and it looked good on their necks, wrists and hair. And small wonder: even as late as the beginning of the 20th century nickel was considered a precious metal. Its extraction was extremely involved and the minute amounts of it that were obtained ended up in jewellers’ shops. Not that engineers were showing any interest in this metal: no use for it ...

Metal Story: Niobium (Nb)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Niobium (Nb) – The Forty First By the middle of the past century several dozen chemical elements had been discovered. But they had no “shelter over their heads”, no place to go. It was only in 1869 that Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev built the magnificent edifice of his Periodic Table and all the elements which had been discovered by then were finally given an abode. When “apartments” were being distributed no consideration was given to such things as the future tenant’s services to science and engineering or to the ...

Metal Story: Platinum (Pt)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Platinum (Pt) – Behind Three Locks The ancient states of the Aztecs and Incas were among those whom the Spaniards ruthlessly plundered in the 16th and 17th centuries. Tons of gold, silver and emeralds filled the holes of the galleons constantly cruising between Spain and South America. A Spanish detachment moving along the river Platino del Pinto (Colombia) one day discovered gold and grains of an unknown heavy silvery metal on its banks. It had an extremely high melting point which made it absolutely useless to them and ...

Metal Story: Iron (Fe)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Iron (Fe) – A great Toiler The “iron hunger” was among the major problems on the agenda of the 1910 International Geological Congress in Stockholm. A special commission which had been entrusted to make an estimate of the world iron reverse submitted its report to the Congress. According to it, sixty years from then, that is, by the year 1970 the world iron resources would be competely exhausted. Fortunately the learned men on the commission proved to be poor oracles: even today humanity is in no need of ...

Metal Story: Tantalum (Ta)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Tantalum (Ta) – Born “in torment” One day the Phrygian King Tantalus, the favourite son of Zeus, who wanted to impress the gods he had invited to his feast, treated them to the flesh of his own son Pelops. Incensed by his cruelty the gods doomed Tantalus to perpetual torment by thirst, hunger and fear. Since then Tantalus has been standing in the lower world, up to his chin in clear water, branches overgrown with ripe fruit bending low to him. When Tantalus opens his mouth to quench ...

Metal Story: Tin (Sn)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Tin (Sn) – Hard but Soft In 1910 Captain Robert Scott, the famous British polar explorer, fitted out an expedition to the South Pole, at that time still a terra incognita. For many weary a month had the expedition been making its painful progress through the lifeless ice deserts of the Antarctic, leaving behind small caches of food and kerosene to take care of their needs on the way back. At the be ginning of 1912 the expedition had finally reached its destination but to the men’s great ...

Metal Story: Mercury (Hg)

Date posted: 30/ 05/ 2018 - The poster: VTRiT

Metal Story: Mercury (Hg) – Silver Water More than 200 years ago Mikhail Lomonosov made a simple and clear definition of metals. He wrote: “Metals are solid bodies, malleable and lustrous.” Indeed, iron, aluminium, copper, gold, silver, lead, tin and other metals we come across in life fully justify this definition. But there are no rules without exceptions and one of the 80 or so metals in nature is liquid under ordinary conditions. You must have guessed by now that we mean mercury. The example of mercury and its antipode, ...
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