William Crookes – discoverer of Thallium element

William Crookes – discoverer of thallium

William Crookes

Biography & contributions

William Crookes, was a British chemist and physicist born on June 17, 1832 – died on April 04, 1919. Crookes was noted for his great works in chemistry which include, discovering thallium element, the invention of spinthariscope, special studies on radioactive substances.

Crookes also developed radiant matter theory, discovered properties of cathode rays, made artificial diamonds, separation techniques to gold and silver from its ores, discovered principles of crookes radiometer.

He got many awards and medals like Royal medal in the year of 1875, Davy medal in the year of 1888, Coplay medal in the year of 1904.

Facts about thallium

Thallium is a chemical element, the metal of main Group 13 (IIIa, or boron group) of the periodic table, poisonous and of limited commercial value. Thallium has an atomic number of eighty-one, meaning it has eighty-one protons in the nucleus of an atom.

It was found as a byproduct of sulfuric acid manufacturing. Thallium is soft and malleable enough to be cut with an ordinary knife at room temperature. Thallium is stored in mineral oils to prevent the oxidation and discoloration. Thallium is found in the main minerals, crookesite, hutchinsonite, and lorandite.

Thallium’s toxic effect is due to its ability to inhibit a number of intracellular potassium-mediated processes. It is used in the manufacture of electronic components, optical lenses, semiconductor materials, alloys, gamma radiation detection equipment, imitation jewelry, artists' paints, low-temperature thermometers, and green fireworks.

Cathode Rays

Cathode rays are so named because they are emitted by the negative electrode, or cathode, in a vacuum tube. To release electrons into the tube, they first must be detached from the atoms of the cathode. In the early cold cathode vacuum tubes, called Crookes tubes.

Cathode rays also termed as electron beam or e-beam. Cathode rays are streams of electrons observed in vacuum tubes, i.e. evacuated glass tubes that are equipped with at least two metal electrodes to which a voltage is applied, a cathode or negative electrode and an anode or positive electrode. They were first observed in 1869 by German physicist Johann Hittorf, and were coined in 1876 by Eugen Goldstein kathodenstrahlen, or cathode rays. The properties of cathode rays were done by William Crookes.

Crookes Radiometer

The Crookes radiometer, also known as the light mill, consists of an airtight glass bulb, containing a partial vacuum. Inside are a set of vanes which are mounted on a spindle. It was invented in 1873 by the chemist Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research. The radiometer is made from a glass bulb from which much of the air has been removed to form a partial vacuum. Inside the bulb, on a low friction spindle, is a rotor with several (usually four) vertical lightweight metal vanes spaced equally around the axis.

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