#History #Women #Chemistry #Science #Elements
Image: German chemist Ida Noddack left industry to hunt for missing elements, and co-discovered rhenium. Credit: KU Leuven University Archives
The story of how dozens of elements were corralled into a periodic table reaches beyond one person and one point in time. Scientists classified and predicted elements before and after Dmitri Mendeleev’s 1869 framework. And many more worked to find and explain these new substances. Noble gases, radioactivity, isotopes, subatomic particles and quantum mechanics were all unknown in the mid-nineteenth century.
Here we spotlight some of the women who revolutionized our understanding of the elements. Marie Curie is the most celebrated, for her double Nobel-prizewinning research on radioactivity and for discovering polonium and radium1. Stories of other women’s roles are scarce. So, too, is an appreciation of the skills required, including tenacity and diligence in performing experiments, sifting through data and reassessing theories.
Proving the discovery of a new element is hard. The first step is finding unusual activity — chemical behaviour or physical properties that cannot be ascribed to known elements, such as unexplained radioactive emissions or spectroscopic lines. Then the element, or its compound, must be isolated in large enough quantities for it to be weighed, tested and used to convince others."
The Texas Engineering researchers have developed a new hydrogel-based solar vapor generator that uses ambient solar energy to power the evaporation of water for effective desalination.-> Water Purification Breakthrough Uses Sunlight and Hydrogels
"Water-based batteries could be crucial to preventing fires in electronics, but their energy storage and capacity have been limited – until now. For the first time, we have a battery that could compete with the lithium-ion batteries in energy density, but without the risk of explosion or fire," says Fei Wang, a jointly appointed postdoctoral associate at UMD's Clark School and ARL, and first author of the paper.-> A higher-energy, safer and longer-lasting zinc battery
Further, in this collaborative effort, the researchers identified the fundamental reason causing irreversibility in zinc batteries – a phenomenon observed in rechargeable battery usage where the amount of charge a battery can deliver at the rated voltage decreases with use – and found a novel solution to it. The secret was to alter the solvation sphere structure of zinc cation (positively charged ions).
Professor Michel Barsoum and colleagues have found scientific evidence that parts of the Great Pyramids of Giza were built using an early form of concrete, debunking an age old myth that they were built using only cut limestone blocks.-> http://drexel.edu/materials/about/special/pyramids/
Major results of our paper→ The Great Pyramids of Giza; Evidence for Cast Blocks - by Michel W. Barsoum
- The inner and outer casing stones of the Great Pyramid are not natural.
- The microstructure is consistent with a reconstituted limestone where the cementing
phase is either silicon dioxide or a Ca-Mg- silicate.
- The starting materials are believed to be diatomaceous earth, dolomite and lime.
- In other words, some of the blocks must have been cast in place.