Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid which is used in many herbicides, pesticides and insecticides. But who discovered arsenic? This post will answer that question and also tell you a few interesting facts about arsenic.
Who Discovered Arsenic?
Compounds of arsenic have been used since ancient times. However, Geber (a chemist, astrologer, geologist, engineer, physicist, pharmacist and physician) was the first person to isolate arsenic and determine that it was a unique chemical element. He first described how to prepare arsenic in his ‘Liber Fornacum’ written around 800 AD. The first European to discover arsenic was Albertus Magnus. He discovered it in 1250.
Interesting Facts About Arsenic
- China is the world’s leading producer of arsenic.
- Arsenic has many different allotropic forms. There are several grey and black forms (which are metalloids) and a yellow non-metal form.
- During the Bronze Age, arsenic was combined with bronze to make the bronze harder.
- There is only one stable isotope of arsenic: arsenic-75
- When heated in air, arsenic reacts with oxygen to form arsenic trioxide. The fumes given off in this reaction have an odor very similar to garlic.
- Arsenic is used in animal feed to help prevent disease and stimulate growth.
Other Great Discoveries: