Illustration of Nickel

1751 Nickel

The book of science

Tom Sharp

LosAxel Fredrik Cronstedt elements Illustration of Nickel


Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, a student of Georg Brandt and a mining expert for the Swedish Bureau of Mines, at first mistook the red ore as a copper mineral. Miners called it kupfernickel after copper and Nickel, a mischievous sprite whom miners blamed for the fact you couldn’t get copper from it.

Atomic number 28

Occurs with iron in meteorites and Earth’s core. Ancient Chinese included it in bronze, it is thought, unintentionally. Used in coins, stainless steel and other alloys, magnets, rechargeable batteries, and hydrogenating catalysts.

Stuff that annoys

Humans depend on enzymes that contain nickel. My sister is allergic to nickel on contact.

I might be allergic to nickel, too; a persistent dermatitis on my fingers is a symptom of something.

See also in The book of science:

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