He suspected this could be the sulfide of a new element, but since he was color blind, he asked fellow German chemis… Indium is used to coat the bearings of high speed motors since it allows for the even distribution of lubricating oil. Named after the bright indigo line in its spectrum. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Indium has a brilliant silvery-white lustre. Want to Know it? Indium is softer than lead and quite plastic. Instead of seeing the green lines associated with thallium they noticed a bright blue line. It is an ingredient in some low-melting alloys used in sprinkler heads, fire-door links, and fusible plugs. The element does not occur uncombined or in independent minerals but occurs as a trace in many minerals, particularly those of zinc and lead, from which it is obtained as a by-product. No other element was known to cause a bright blue line so they concluded they had discovered a new element, which they named indium from the color indigo that they witnessed. Britannia Kids Holiday Bundle! How well do you know their symbols? Indium metal is unaffected by air at ordinary temperatures, but at a red heat it burns with a blue-violet flame to form the yellow oxide In2O3. A brilliant indigo line in the sample's spectrum revealed the existence of indium. Who discovered indium? It is commonly obtained commercially from the residues left over during zinc ore processing, although a similar method can be used in lead, tin, copper and iron mining as well. It is a soft metal with bright silvery-white coloration. They are characterized as a group by having three electrons in the outermost parts of their atomic structure. This was confirmed not long after and a year later Richter was able to isolate the pure metal. An alloy of 24% indium and 76% gallium is a liquid at room temperature. After roasting the ore to remove most of the sulfur, he applied hydrochloric acid to the remaining materials. They made the discovery after dissolving the minerals from these ores and testing for thallium, which was already known at the time, with spectroscopy. Reich and Richter had been looking for traces of the element thallium in samples of zinc ores. What Was the First Element Discovered? Ferdinand Reich was totally color blind and could not see the colors during their experiments. Boron, the lightest of these elements, is a metalloid. Indium is an amphoteric element; it dissolves in acids to give indium salts, and it also dissolves in concentrated alkalies to give indates. Aluminum, gallium, indium, and thallium are silvery white…, …method can detect, for example, indium in silicon at the one part per trillion level. In fact, most of the world’s cadmium and indium is recovered as a by-product of the smelting of sphalerite concentrates to produce zinc.…. A brilliant indigo line in the sample's spectrum revealed the existence of indium. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... 118 Names and Symbols of the Periodic Table Quiz. Indium can be used to make mirrors that are as reflective as silver mirrors but do not tarnish as quickly. Indium is a chemical element with the symbol In and atomic number 49. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. All Rights Reserved by wanttoknowit.com. He then observed a yellowish solid appear. They made the discovery after dissolving the minerals from these ores and testing for thallium, which was already known at the time, with spectroscopy. He partnered with Richter so that he could examine the colors who would then describe them to Reich! The presence of a predominant indigo spectral line suggested the name. In this quiz you’ll be shown all 118 chemical symbols, and you’ll need to choose the name of the chemical element that each one represents. What's in a name? Indium is used to dope germanium to make transistors. There is a marked tendency for two of the outer electrons of the indium atom (the outer 5s2 electrons) not to be used in bonding; this circumstance results in singly charged indium compounds. Melting Point: 429.75 K (156.60°C or 313.88°F). The metal is extensively employed in the manufacture of semiconductor devices and for soldering various parts of germanium transistors and rectifiers. Estimated Crustal Abundance: 2.5×10-1 milligrams per kilogram, Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 2×10-2 milligrams per liter, Number of Stable Isotopes: 1 (View all isotope data). Indium shares chemical similarities with gallium and thallium and this led to its discovery. Until 1924, a gram or so constituted the world's supply of this element in isolated form. Indium is softer than lead and quite plastic. Indium has a melting point higher than sodium and gallium, but lower than lithium and tin. Indium is also used to make low melting alloys. However, it is unaffected by potassium hydroxide or boiling water. Reich and Richter had been looking for traces of the element thallium in samples of zinc ores. Earth’s crust contains on the average about 0.05 part per million indium by weight. Analyses of…, For example, cadmium and indium are generally present in small amounts in the zinc sulfide sphalerite, the major ore mineral of zinc. Omissions? Indium is the softest metal that is not an alkali metal. Hi, I'm Tim and I want to welcome you to wanttoknowit.com. It was discovered (1863) by German chemists Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter while they were examining zinc ore samples. Nanostructured indium compounds have been developed, including indium nitride (InN) nanorods for high-speed field-effect transistors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which can be used in televisions and computer displays. (Al), gallium (Ga), indium (In), thallium (Tl), and nihonium (Nh). When heated in the presence of the halogens or sulfur, direct combination takes place. and the oldest existing sample from that era was from 6,000 B.C.E. Though a few authentic indium compounds (e.g., halides) have been prepared in which the element is in the +1 oxidation state, indium commonly displays the +3 state in its compounds. The periodic table is made up of 118 elements. Indium is about as rare as silver. Indium was discovered in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich at the Freiberg School of Mines in Germany. … It is a silvery-white metal that resembles tin in appearance. Your email address will not be published. Indium is pronounced as IN-dee-em. I hope you find an answer to your question, but if your don't then please send me your question via email, comment or via Google+ and I'll try and answer it. Indium was discovered by the German chemists Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter in 1863. Updates? While it was not understood to be an element at that time, the first element discovered was copper (Cu) due to the fact that its oldest known use was in 9,000 B.C.E. Indium hydroxide dissolves in both acids and alkalies. It is also used to make other electrical components such as rectifiers, thermistors and photoconductors. Reich was studying a sample of a zinc mineral blend that he thought might contain the recently discovered element thallium.
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