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Let’s Learn About THORIUM!

 

 

 

Thorium is a weakly radioactive metallic chemical element with the symbol Th and atomic number 90. Thorium is silvery and discolors and ruins black when it is exposed to air, forming thorium dioxide; it is moderately soft, bendable, and has a high melting point. Thorium is an electropositive actinide whose chemistry is ruled-over by the +4 oxidation state; it is quite a catalyst and can catch fire in air when finely divided.

All known thorium isotopes are unstable. The most stable isotope, 232Th, has a half-life of 14.05 billion years, or about the age of the universe; it (rots/becomes ruined/gets worse) very slowly via alpha (rotted, inferior, or ruined state), starting a decay chain named the thorium series that ends at stable 208Pb. On Earth, thorium and uranium are the only significantly radioactive elements that still happen naturally in large amounts as very old (from the beginning of time) elements. Thorium is guessed (number) to be over three times as plentiful as uranium in the Earth’s crust, and is mostly high-quality from monazite sands as a (something produced along with something else) of (pulling out or taking from something else) rare-earth metals.

 

Thorium was discovered in 1828 by the Norwegian inexperienced/low quality mineralogist Morten Thrane Esmark and identified by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Its first applications were developed in the late 19th century. Thorium’s radioactivity was widely admitted/recognized/responded to during the first at least 20 years of the 20th century. In the second half of the century, thorium was replaced in many uses due to concerns about its radioactivity.

The (firm and steady nature/lasting nature/strength) of the Roman currency relied to a high degree on the supply of silver bars, mostly from Spain, which Roman miners produced on a scale (unlike any other thing in the world) before the discovery of the New World. Reaching a peak production of 200 tonnes per year, a guessed (number) silver stock of 10000 tonnes circulated in the Roman (process of people making, selling, and buying things) in the middle of the second century AD, five to ten times larger than the combined amount of silver available to (very old time in history) Europe and the Abbasid Important Muslim religious leaderate around AD 800.

 

 

Thorium was discovered in 1828 by the Norwegian inexperienced/low quality mineralogist Morten Thrane Esmark and identified by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Its first applications were developed in the late 19th century. Thorium’s radioactivity was widely admitted/recognized/responded to during the first at least 20 years of the 20th century. In the second half of the century, thorium was replaced in many uses due to concerns about its radioactivity.

Thorium is still being used as a mixture element in TIG welding electrodes but is slowly being replaced in the field with different compositions. It was also material in high-end optics and scientific instrumentation, used in some broadcast vacuum tubes, and as the light source in gas mantles, but these uses have become not important. Some say as a replacement for uranium as nuclear fuel in nuclear reactors, and (more than two, but not a lot of) thorium reactors have been built. Thorium is also used in strengthening magnesium, coating tungsten wire in electrical equipment, controlling the grain size of tungsten in electric lamps, high-temperature red-hot containers, and glasses including camera and scientific (sensitive measuring/recording device) lenses. Other uses for thorium include heat-resistant ceramics, aircraft engines, and in light bulbs.

 

 

In 1828, Morten Thrane Esmark found a black mineral on Løvøya island, Telemark county, Norway. He was a Norwegian priest and inexperienced/low quality mineralogist who studied the minerals in Telemark, where he served as vicar. He commonly sent the most interesting medical samples/examples, such as this one, to his father, Jens Esmark, a noted mineralogist and professor of mineralogy and (the study of rocks) at the Royal Frederick University in Christiania (today called Oslo). The older (person) Esmark decided/figured out that it was not a known mineral and sent a sample to Berzelius for examination. Berzelius decided/figured out that it contained a new element. He published his findings in 1829, having (separated far from others) an impure sample by reducing KThF5 with potassium metal. Berzelius reused the name of the previous supposed element discovery and named the source mineral thorite.

Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who first identified thorium as a new element.  Berzelius made some initial descriptions of the new metal and its chemical compounds: he correctly decided/figured out that the thorium-oxygen mass ratio of thorium oxide was 7.5 (its actual value is close to that, ~7.3), but he assumed the new element was divalent rather than tetravalent, and so calculated that the atomic mass was 7.5 times that of oxygen (120 amu); it is actually 15 times as large. He decided/figured out that thorium was a very electropositive metal, ahead of cerium and behind zirconium in electropositivity. Metallic thorium was (far apart from others) for the first time in 1914 by Dutch small business starters Dirk Lely Jr. and Source of gold, silver, or something valuablewijk Hamburger.

 

 

In the list of all elements published by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, thorium and the rare-earth elements were placed outside the main body of the table, at the end of each up-and-down period after the alkaline earth metals. This reflected the belief at that time that thorium and the rare-earth metals were divalent. With the later recognition that the rare earths were mostly trivalent and thorium was tetravalent, Mendeleev moved cerium and thorium to group IV in 1871, which also contained the modern carbon group (group 14) and titanium group (group 4), because their maximum oxidation state was +4. Cerium was soon removed from the main body of the table and placed in a separate lanthanide series; thorium was left with group 4 as it had almost the same properties to its supposed lighter congeners in that group, such as titanium and zirconium.

While thorium was discovered in 1828 its first application dates only from 1885, when Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach invented the gas mantle, a portable source of light which produces light from the glow of thorium oxide when heated by burning gaseous fuels. Many uses were (after that) found for thorium and its compounds, including ceramics, carbon arc lamps, heat-resistant red-hot containers, and as helping forces for industrial chemical reactions such as the oxidation of strong-smelling chemical to nitric acid.

 

 

Up to the late 19th century, chemists (every single person agreed) that thorium and uranium were the same as hafnium and tungsten; the existence of the lanthanides in the sixth row was carefully thought about/believed to be a one-off lucky accident. In 1892, British chemist Henry Bassett said a second extra-long list of all elements row to change something (to help someone)/take care of someone known and undiscovered elements, (thinking about/when one thinks about) thorium and uranium to be the same as the lanthanides. In 1913, Danish physicist Niels Bohr published a (related to ideas about how things work or why they happen) model of the atom and its electron orbitals, which soon gathered wide acceptance. The model pointed to/showed that the seventh row of the list of all elements should also have f-shells filling before the d-shells that were filled in the change (from one thing to another) elements, like the sixth row with the lanthanides coming before the 5d change (from one thing to another) metals. The existence of a second inner change (from one thing to another) series, in the form of the actinides, was not accepted until (things that are almost the same as other things) with the electron structures of the lanthanides had been established; Bohr suggested that the filling of the 5f orbitals may be delayed to after uranium.

It was only with the discovery of the first transuranic elements, which from plutonium onward have most in control/most common +3 and +4 oxidation states like the lanthanides, that it was (understood/made real/achieved) that the actinides were in fact filling f-orbitals rather than d-orbitals, with the change (from one thing to another)-metal-like chemistry of the early actinides being the exception and not the rule. In 1945, when American physicist Glenn T. Seaborg and his team had discovered the transuranic elements (element) and curium, he proposed the actinide idea, (understanding/making real/achieving) that thorium was the second member of an f-block actinide series the same as the lanthanides, instead of being the heavier congener of hafnium in a fourth d-block row.

 

 

 

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