Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran developed improved spectroscopic techniques for chemical analysis

Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran – discoverer of gallium element

Article on Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran

Biography & contributions

Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran was a French chemist born on April 18, 1838 – died on May 28, 1838. de Boisbaudran well known for his important works like developed, improved spectroscopic techniques for chemical analysis and also discovered the periodic table elements like gallium, samarium, and dysprosium.

He also discovered a relation between the emission lines of metals and their atomic weights, worked on supersaturation of solutions, and found that ammonium alum crystal’s octahedral faces are less readily soluble than cubic faces. de Boisbaudran analyzed spectra of 35 elements, using the Bunsen burner, electric spark or both to induce luminescence and in this way discovered the lanthanides samarium, dysprosium and europium. He also isolated gadolinium.

Facts about gallium

Gallium is silvery, glass-like, soft second largest liquid range periodic table element. Gallium properties include symbol Ga, atomic number, atomic mass, electron configuration [Ar] 4s2 3d10 4p1,melting point 29.77 °C, boiling point 2400 °C. Gallium is a moderately abundant element in the Earth's crust. Its abundance has been estimated to be about 5 parts per million. It is found primarily in combination with zinc and aluminum ores. It is also found in germanite, an ore of copper sulfide.

Gallium is a byproduct of the production of aluminium and zinc, whereas the sphalerite for zinc production is the minor source. Most gallium is extracted from the crude aluminium hydroxide solution of the Bayer process for producing alumina and aluminium.It has one of the longest liquid ranges of any metal and has a low vapour pressure even at high temperatures. Gallium liquid clings to or wets glass and similar surfaces. It can be used to create brilliant mirrors. Gallium easily alloys with most metals, so it is used to form low-melting alloys.

Gallium is a fairly reactive element. It combines with most non-metals at high temperatures, and it reacts with both acids and alkalis. Gallium easily alloys with many metals, and is used in small quantities as a plutonium-gallium alloy in the plutonium cores of nuclear bombs, to help stabilize the plutonium crystal structure.

Facts about samarium

Samarium is belongs to lanthanide series periodic table element with symbol Sm, atomic number 62, atomic mass 150.36 g/mol ,electron configuration [Xe] 6s2 4f6,density 7.52 g/cm3,melting point 1072°C, boiling point 1900°C. Samarium is never found free in nature, but in contained in many minerals, including monazite, bastnasite and samarskite. It is stable in air at normal temperatures, but ignites in air when the temperature is 150oC or higher.

Samarium’s main use is in samarium-cobalt alloy magnets for headphones, small motors and pickups for some electric guitars. Samarium oxide is also used in infrared absorbing glass.

Facts about dysprosium

Dysprosium is having symbol Dy, atomic number 66,atomic mass 162.5 g/mol, electron configuration [Xe] 4f10 6s2,density 8.540 g/cm3,melting point 1407 °C, boiling point 2562 °C.

Dysprosium is never found in nature as a free element, though it is found in various minerals, such as xenotime. Dysprosium is obtained primarily from monazite sand, a mixture of various phosphates. Dysprosium is used for its high thermal neutron absorption cross-section in making control rods in nuclear reactors, for its high magnetic susceptibility in data storage applications, and as a component of Terfenol-D. Dysprosium is used, in conjunction with vanadium and other elements, in making laser materials and commercial lighting. It is used in dosimeters for measuring ionizing radiation

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