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What the name means: Tellurium was named after the Roman goddess of the Earth, Tellus.
Who identified tellurium?: In 1782, Baron Franz Joseph Muller von Reichenstein was analysing a mineral from a mine in Romania. The mineral under investigation contained a compound of gold and another metal. Muller believed, at first, that the second metal was bismuth. Later he thought that it might be antimony. However, by the following year, Muller had concluded that the other metal in the sample was not any of the known metals.
A few years later Muller sent a sample of the mineral to Martin Heinrich Klaproth in Berlin. Klaproth isolated the new element and proposed the name tellurium since, up to then, no new element had been named after the Earth.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About tellurium: The element tellurium is silvery-white and shines like a metal. It can also be made into a grey powder. It is found as the free element in the Earth's crust but it is mostly found in chemical combination with metals, such as gold. Tellurium is useful to form alloys, with copper and steel, for example. It is also used in ceramics. Tellurium is toxic to humans and some workers who came into contact with it developed "garlic breath", a sign of tellurium poisoning.
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