THE STORY… OF ALUMINUM

THE [a bit fictional] STORY… OF ALUMINUM

During the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. There was once a civilization which was in a constant state of chaos. Many of its people died in the millions as wars ravaged on for decades. Conflicts arose and tore the beautiful landscape apart. The search for metals heightened as metals were needed to win war. Peasants and researchers were scattered across the land to find these precious metals. After months of scouring the land for precious metals, they came across a metal that was silvery-white and light, yet it was very malleable thus it was discarded for the time being.

When the war ended, peace reigned for centuries. Ancient civilizations now at peace were able to observe the uses of this new metal. After numerous tests, this metal was was discovered to be an astringent for medicinal purposes and as a mordant in dying.

There was no evidence how they were able to create such beautiful and sophisticated pottery and dye… Not Until 1808 when Aluminum was “discovered” (once again) to have been responsible for such fine art.


THE TIMELINE

  • 1808: Aluminum was discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy giving it the name of “Aluminum”
  • 1821: the discovery of bauxite which is know known as the most common ore in producing aluminum since bauxite had a composition of 52% aluminum.
  • 1825: Hans Christian Oersted discovered that by mixing dilute potassium amalgam with anhydrous aluminum chloride, if allowed to react chemically would produce a residue of slightly impure aluminum
  • 1846: Wohler was able to determine the gravity of aluminum (2.7) illustrating its unique property of being extremely light compared to most metals
  • 1854: Henri Sainte-Clair Deville created the first commercial process for aluminum which was known to be much more expensive that gold at the time
  • 1886: Martin hall and Paul Heroult invented a new electrolytic process (Hall-Heroult Process) which became the basis for all aluminum production at present. If aluminum oxide was dissolved in a bath of molten cryolite, and passed through a powerful electric current, molten aluminum would be deposited at the bottom.
  • 1889: Friedrich Bayer was able to create the Bayer process to extract alumina (aluminum oxide) from bauxite in large quantities
  • Modern Society: Present in infrastructures, basic household items, transportation vehicles and much much more!

PROPERTIES

  • Metallic chemical element with an atomic number of 13. Its symbol is the Al in the periodic table and its atomic mass is 26.98. Having a specific gravity of 2.70, melting point of 660 celsius and boiling point of 2,519 celsius.
  • lightweight silvery metal
  • non toxic
  • non-magnetic
  • corrosion resistant
  • malleable (second among metals)
  • Only having one stable isotope of Aluminum-27.

USES

Aluminum is very diverse, ranging from the simplest kitchen utensils to state of the art rockets and automobiles.

  1. used as electric transmission lines (60% as effective as copper, high ductility, and light weight)mirrors when condensed onto glass
  2. kitchen pots for its high heat conductivity
  3. food wrappers for its malleability, being able to be pressed to a thousand of an inch
  4. antacids in drugstores containing aluminum hydroxide
  5. airplanes use high quality aluminum alloys since they are lightweight and durable
  6. automobiles have aluminum parts to reduce weight and gas consumption
  7. used for sports (golf clubs, tennis bats, baseball bats)
  8. packaging for it is odorless
  9. refrigerators
  10. toasters
  11. utensils, cans
  12. wheelchairs!
  13. rockets

AND MUCH MUCH MORE!

FUN FACTS!

  1. Aluminum is the only light element that has no physiological function in the human body.
  2. Many believe that aluminum cookware, utensils, foil, etc are cancerous even if there is no concrete evidence for this belief. In actuality, antacids contain a thousand more concentration of aluminum than eating from pots or cookware.

http://www.rocksandminerals.com/aluminum/aluminum.htm

http://science.jrank.org/pages/265/Aluminum-General-properties.html

http://science.jrank.org/pages/270/Aluminum.html

http://science.jrank.org/pages/268/Aluminum-Uses.html

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/aluminum-uses-of-aluminum.html

http://sam.davyson.com/as/physics/aluminium/siteus/uses.html

PICTURE TIME!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In Boxers with Aluminum Baseball Bat. Don’t mind background :).

http://www.isonplanes.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/wing3.html

http://www.woodlandsmedicalsupplies.com/Basic-Aluminum-Wheelchairs.html

TERMINOLOGIES!

  1. The nuclear charge is the total charge of all the protons in the nucleus. It has the same value as the atomic number.
  2. The valence electrons are the electrons in the last shell or energy level of an atom.
  3. atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in the atom
  4. atomic mass refers to the combined number of protons and neutrons
  5. melting point is the point at the point where solid melts into liquid
  6. boiling point is the point where liquid (even solids) turn to vapor
  7. Metallicity is the measure in proportion of heavy elements or metals
  8. Shielding effect is when electrons in filled sets of s , p orbitals between the nucleus and outer shell electrons shield the outer shell electrons from the effect of protons in the nucleus.
  9. Ionization energy is the minimum amount of energy required to remove the most loosely held electron of an isolated gaseous atom or ion
  10. atomic radius is the radius of an atom
  11. ionic radius is the radius of an ion where ions when packed together until their outermost electronic orbitals are in contact with each other
  12. Electronegativity is the attraction of an atom when combined with another, exhibiting a relative tendency for an atom to attract electrons to itself.

www.chemistry-dictionary.com


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