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Hafnium

What the name means: The word hafnium derives from the Latin word for Copenhagen, Hafniae. Copenhagen was the home city of the Noble Laureate Neils Bohr. Bohr had predicted that the element # 72 would have very similar properties to zirconium and he suggested looking for element # 72 in zirconium-rich minerals.

Hafnium

Hafnium atom

Hafnium atom

 

 

 

Hafnium ion

 

Hafnium ion

 

Who identified hafnium?: The existence of element # 72 had been predicted n 1914. Between 1914 and 1922, various claims had been made by scientists that the element had been identified but they were incorrect. In 1922, using an X-ray spectroscopy method that had been developed by Henry Moseley, Dirk Coster and György Karl von Hevesy analysed a zirconium sample and found that it was contaminated with another element. This proved to be element # 72. The two physicists worked at the Neils Bohr Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen so they named the new element hafnium. That year, Neils Bohr received the Nobel Prize for Physics and he announced the identification of hafnium in his acceptance speech.

 

Properties

HFPROPS

STP = standard temperature and pressure.
Usually considered as room temperature and pressure.

 

About hafnium: Hafnium is a shiny, silvery-looking metal that does not exist as the free element in nature. It is resistant to corrosion and is very difficult to separate from zirconium. It has a use in nuclear reactors as a constituent of control rods in the reactor.

 

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