Iodine: The halogen group with an atomic number of 53
The halogen group with an atomic number of 53. The name iodine is from a Greek word: ioedies, meaning violet or purple because of the elements vapor. The natural element was discovered in 1811 by a French man name Bernard Courtois approximately around the time when France was at war (Swain). In a time of horror and death, there was a shortage of wood ashes used for obtaining potassium nitrate. As an alternative source of potassium, big companies and manufacturers turned towards cheap soda kep made from ashes of seaweeds (Swain).
Bernard owned one of these plantations; he soon recognized a beautiful violet vapor that condensed with crystals from the seaweed. He spent time afterwards investigating, slowly feeding his curiosity with trials, he tested its reactions with ammonia, the mixture concluded to form a fulminating powder (Swain). Bernard was a successful businessman that had no intentions to changing the world; he was a curious businessman with a mind to feed. Although the birth of Iodine was from Bernard, he proposed his colleagues to continue his experiments with new tests: Clement a chemist professor, Gay-Lussac, Chaptal, Ampere and Humphry Davy in 1813.
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Through years of further research they discovered iodine was a indecomposable substance with similar chemical properties to chlorine, it as well formed new acids with hydrogen (Medicine net). By 1820, the discovery of iodine had already become a mind blowing medical phenomenon. Doctors increasingly thanked Bernard for iodine’s medical impact, the element found to be a perfect remedy for goiter; an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland that causes a lump to form in the throat (epa. gov).
Although he was recognized with awards for his discovery during the 1830’s, he never earned a lavishing beautiful life style. Bernard died by the age of 62 leaving no assets or property for his widow and son (Swain). His wife continued her life with out him aside, she suffered through financial difficulties and very little help from organizations that proudly recognized her husband’s discovery. She died slowly at the age of 70 (Swain). During the late 1930’s , radio active iodine was discovered by Glenn T.
Seaborg and John Livingood at the University of California Berkley. Radioactive iodine-129 contains the same physical properties as natural iodine, but decay at a faster rate. Radioactive iodine is produced by the fission (acting or dividing something in two parts) during uranium atoms during the process of nuclear reactors with nuclear weapons (epa. gov). With a rapid technology growth researchers recognized other properties that made iodine so absolutely amazing.
Iodine is known to react fairly easily with other chemicals and compounds. It is useful for tracking the metabolism of drugs, or viewing structural problems in our bodies, such as our heart (epa. gov). As well as it’s name it has a distinct unusual property of sublimation; it can go from solid to gas with out being a liquid. It sublimes into a deep violet vapor color at room temperature and tends to irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Iodine dissolves in water and alcohol. It’s melting point is at 236?F.
Iodine is as well a important mineral in our bodies, the body needs ut ti make thyroid hormones which plays a position of controlling our metabolism. Thyroid hormones provide proper brain and bone development for infants and pregnant woman. It’s found in fruits, vegetables and mainly fish. Iodine is medically used in capsules for patients with thyroid cancer (goiter is an example) where the capsule of iodine is released and directly kills the growing thyroid cancer gland with out damaging anything else in the body.
According to epa. gov iodine-129 & 130 is used environmentally by releasing radiation during the decay probes by emitting particles and gamma radiation. Iodine is such an amazing element that is fluctuated and connected in so many ways that can be used for good and evil. The element could save lives and as well diminish populations with nuclear testing’s. As our technology is consistently growing and not rejecting to stop we are at a constant speed of new discoveries. With out realization, we forget sometimes to thank Bernard.
1.”Goitre – NHS Choices.” NHS Choices – Your health, your choices. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013. .
2.”Iodine | Radiation Protection | US EPA.” US Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013. .
3.”Radioactive iodine.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013. .