|Freiberg—Clemens Winkler elements|
- Fifteen years earlier, Dmitri Mendeleev,
- for his periodic table, predicted elements
- next to cadmium, ekacadmium,
- and next to silicon, ekasilicon.
- Then professor Clemens Winkler
- was asked to analyze a new mineral
- found in the Himmelsfürst mine near Freiberg
- called argyrodite as it was known to contain silver.
- Winkler found that argyrodite
- contained silver, sulfur, a little iron,
- and about six to seven percent
- of a previously unknown element.
- Mendeleev thought it might be ekacadmium.
- Julius Lothar Meyer thought it was ekasilicon.
- Eventually, Winkler isolated enough of it
- to determine its physical properties.
- Mendeleev had predicted
- the atomic mass of ekasilison of 72;
- germanium’s atomic mass is 72.61;
- confirming the concept of element periodicity.
Atomic number 32
- Germanium is a semiconductor.
- Electronics built on it instead of silicon are faster.
- Computer chips, LEDs, photovoltaic cells,
- phosphors for fluorescent lights.
- Germanium oxide in optics
- for high index of refraction and low optical dispersion.
- Camera and microscope lenses, optical fibers,
- rewritable DVDs, night goggles.
- Germanium crystals identify radiation sources
- for airport security and gamma spectroscopy.
- Winkler thought he’d name the element Neptunium
- because Neptune’s existence was predicted before it was found;
- however, the name was already given to an alleged element found in Tantalite.
- Some scientists objected to Germanium because it sounds like “geranium,”
- so Raymond joked that it should be called Angularium, its angular nature
- causing dispute and Winkel meaning angle in German, like Winkler,
- but Mendeleyev himself wrote Winkler that Germanium was a fine name.
- Sensitive and fast.
- He’ll catch on quickly
- and toss it back.
- Reflection, refraction.
- His mind’s acute;
- ready for action.