The Open Door Web Site
What the name means: Uranium was named after the planet Uranus that had been first observed in 1781. Uranus, in turn, was named after Ouranos, the Greek god of the sky and father of Titan.
Who identified uranium?: Pitchblende has been used for its yellow colour since Roman times. It has been detected in the paint used on the walls of a Roman villa near the Bay of Naples in Italy. From the Middle Ages, pitchblende was the "secret" ingredient that coloured glassware yellow-green colour.
The element uranium was identified by the German chemist, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, in Berlin in 1789. He was analysing an ore called pitchblende (mostly composed of uranium dioxide). Uranium metal was isolated by a French chemist, Eugène-Mechior Péligot in 1841.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About uranium: It was not until 1896 that the French physicist, Henry Becquerel, discovered that uranium was radio-active. He found out by accident. He had left a sample of pitchblende on a photographic plate and noticed that the ore had fogged the plate, as exposing it to poor light would have done. He concluded that the ore must be emitting some kind of ray. It was not until 1902 that the concept of radio-active decay started to be understood.
Uranium is a silvery metal that is used as a fuel in nuclear reactors.
The Open Door Web Site is non-profit making. Your donations help towards the cost of maintaining this free service on-line.
Donate to the Open Door Web Site using PayPal