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What the name means: The name cobalt comes from the German word kobold that, in turn, derives from the Greek word cobalos, meaning mischievous or evil spirit.
Who identified cobalt?: In ancient times, cobalt compounds were found, along with arsenic compounds, in silver mines. The arsenic compounds caused sickness amongst the miners. However, since the miners did not know what was making some of them ill, the coloured cobalt compounds were blamed. This is why the name cobalt derives from words meaning "evil spirit" or "goblin".
Glass coloured with cobalt compounds has been found in Egyptian tombs and in the ruins of Pompeii. In 1550, in Bohemia, Christoph Schürer re-discovered the use of cobalt compounds for colouring glass. In 1735, George Brant, a Swede working in France, recognised cobalt as a metal, calling it cobalt rex. It was Antoine Lavoisier who recognised cobalt as an element.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About cobalt: Cobalt is a shiny, bluish, magnetic metal. It is not found as the free element in nature. Apart from its use in colouring ceramics and paints, cobalt is an essential element for humans. It is part of the make-up of the vitamin B12 and there is about 1mg in the human body.
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