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Iridium is a hard, brittle, silvery-white metal that belongs to the platinum family of metals. It is a chemical element represented by the chemical symbol Ir and atomic number 77. It is the most corrosion resistant metal and the second most dense element. It is also one of the rarest elements on the planet, being 40 times more rare than gold! Despite this rarity viable commercial quantities can be obtained as a by-product from nickel and copper mining. The largest commercially viable deposits of iridium are found in South Africa, Russia and Canada. Like most metals in the platinum group it was discovered after scientists determined that platinum was a new metal instead of an alloy as was first though.
The mitochondria are organelles found in many different types of cells. They are often called the “power plant” or “powerhouse” of the cell because they produce the adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a source of chemical energy. However, they also have a number of other important functions within the cell as well. Mitochondria are tiny, with a diameter of approximately 0.5-1 micrometer (micron). This means that they cannot be seen with the human eye and require a microscope to view. Let’s find out who discovered this important organelle.
Bismuth is a silvery-white brittle metal that often has a pink tinge after exposure to air. It is one of the elements that can be found in its natural state (free form) on Earth. it is a chemical element represented by the symbol Bi and the atomic number 83. It is mostly mined from ores, but native bismuth is also found in commercial quantities in a few countries. Bismuth is similar to lead and tin, which caused confusion about the identity of this element throughout history. Let’s find out the first to identify this element.
The Lascaux Caves are a series of complex caves located near the village of Montignac in the south-west of France. The caves are famous for a series of late Stone Age paintings and engravings that are estimated at an age of 17,000 years. The cave contains almost 2000 figures in total and most of these are depictions of animals known from the time. The site was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, but unfortunately visitors are not allowed to enter the caves. This is due to the fact that the carbon dioxide produced from people breathing in the caves was destroying the paintings. Lascaux II, a reproduction of two main caves, is open to the public and is a popular attraction. Let’s find out who discovered these important caves and their paintings.
Stratosphere is the name given to the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is located just above the troposphere and below mesosphere. It has a stratified nature meaning that it has warmer layers higher up and cooler layers closer to the earth. The stratosphere is found anywhere between 8 km (5 mi) and 50 km (30 mi) above the earth’s surface. The stratosphere absorbs high energy ultraviolet (UV), specifically UVB and UVC, waves from the sun. The Stratosphere is considered part of the biosphere because some bacterial life and certain species of birds can survive in this layer of atmosphere.
The Grand Canyon is a large canyon with steep-sides located in the state of Arizona in the United States. The 446km (277 mi) long Grand Canyon is up to 29 km (18 mi) wide and has a maximum depth of about 1,800 m (6,000 ft). The impressive natural structure was carved by the Colorado River, which runs through the canyon. The Grand Canyon was made a National Monument in 1908 and eventually a National Park in 1919. It has long been a popular destination for local and international tourists and it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country to this day. If you have ever wondered who discovered this popular landmark, keep reading to find out.
The Great Salt Lake is a very large salt lake found in the state of Utah in the United States. It is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere and largest lake in the United States, apart from the great lakes, with a surface area of about 4,400 km2 (1,700 sq mi). The lake has no outlet to the ocean and also has a much higher level of salinity than seawater. The Great Salt Lake is located in the north of Utah and provides the name to the nearby Salt Lake City, which is the capital and largest city in the state. Let’s find out who discovered this lake and when this occurred.
Thallium is a soft gray metal that is never found in its free form in nature. It is a chemical element with the atomic number 81 and it is represented by the symbol Tl. Thallium is relatively common in the crust of the Earth commonly associated with minerals that contain potassium. However, the metal is not produced from the sources because it is not economical. Instead, commercial important thallium comes as a trace element in the mining of copper, zinc, lead and other heavy metal ores. Although it is extremely toxic to many organisms, including humans, thallium has many important uses. Let’s find out who discovered this element.
Tantalum is a hard blue-gray metal that is resistant to corrosion and a chemical element represented by the symbol Ta and the atomic number 73. It is a rare metal, but can be found in many minerals such as tantalite, which is where most of this metal is extracted from commercially. The majority of the world’s supply of tantalum comes from Australia, but relatively large amounts are also mined in China, Ethiopia and Mozambique. The main use of the metal is in electronic equipment. Let’s find out who discovered this metal and when it was found.
Gallium is a chemical element with the atomic number 31 and the chemical symbol Ga. It is a soft silvery metal that is not found naturally as a pure metal. The metal is commonly obtained by smelting and the most important source of the metal is obtained as a trace component of bauxite. It can also be obtained from other ores and minerals, although this is rarely done commercially. 98% of the gallium mined is used for semiconductors. Let’s find out who discovered this important element.