Elementymology & Elements Multidict
Iridium – Iridium – Iridium – Iridio – イリジウム – Иридий – 銥
Iridium Frisian (West)
Iridiu Romanian - Moldovan
SlavicИридий [Iridij] Bulgarian
Iрыдый [irydyj] Belarusian
Иридиум [Iridium] Macedonian
Иридий [Iridij] Russian
Иридијум [Iridijum] Serbian
Iридій [irydij] Ukrainian
Iridiam Gaelic (Irish)
Iridiam Gaelic (Scottish)
Iriddjum Gaelic (Manx)
Other Indo-EuropeanΙριδιο [iridio] Greek
Իրիդիում [iridium] Armenian
Irid, ²Iridiumi Albanian
Иридий [Iridij] Ossetian
Иридий [Iridi'] Tajik
Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryanইরিডিয়াম [iriḍiẏāma] Bengali
ایریدیم [ayrydym] Persian
ઇરિડિયમનો [iriḍiyamano] Gujarati
इरिडियम [iriḍiyama] Hindi
Иридий [Iridij] Komi
Иридий [Iridij] Mari
Ириди [iridi] Moksha
Ириди [Iridi] Chuvash
Иридий [iridij] Kazakh
Иридий [Iridij] Kyrgyz
Ириди [iridi] Mongolian
ئىرىدىي ['iridiy] Uyghur
Other (Europe)Iridioa Basque
ირიდიუმი [iridiumi] Georgian
Afro-Asiaticإريديوم [īrīdiyūm] Arabic
אירידיום [iridium] Hebrew
Sino-TibetanYî (銥) Hakka
イリジウム [irijiumu] Japanese
이리듐 [iridyum] Korean
อิริเดียม [iridiam] Thai
銥 [yi1 / yi1] Chinese
Other Asiaticഇറിഡിയം [iṟiḍiyam] Malayalam
இரிடியம் [iriţiyam] Tamil
CreoleIridimi Sranan Tongo
New namesIridon Atomic Elements
History & Etymology
Smithson Tennant (1761-1815) discovered Iridium along with Osmium in the summer of 1803 in the black residue formed by the dissolution of native Platinum in aqua regia (see Osmium).
As with his Osmium work Tennant heated the black powder, followed by fusion with caustic soda at red heat. The resulting cooled mass was then dissolved in water, and the black residue remaining was treated in "marine acid" (hydrochloric acid). The residue was again fused with caustic soda and extracted with HCl, giving dark red crystals, probably of Na2[IrCl6].nH2O. On heating these an unknown element was obtained as a white powder which "appeared of a white colour, and was not capable of being melted, by any degree of heat I could apply." About the naming of the new element, he wrote:
In 1801 Joseph-Louis Proust (1754–1826) had studied the dissolution of crude platina in aqua regia and attributed the small amount of black residue remaining to "nothing else but graphite or plumbago", a claim dismissed by Tennant, as noted below. Antoine François de Fourcroy (1755–1809), working with Nicolas Louis Vauquelin (1763–1829), took over the research of this black residue.
On the same day as their first memoir was read to the Institut in September 1803, Hippolyte Victor Collet-Descotils (1773–1815), who had been a student of Vauquelin, reported essentially similar results, and published a more concise paper in 1803. Like the cautious Fourcroy and Vauquelin he did not name the new metal which he believed to be present, but said that he would assign it a name after further research. (note).
The memoirs of Fourcroy and Vauquelin and of Collet-Descotils were known to Tennant when he read his paper on the 21 June 1804 (note):
Upon making some experiments, last summer , on the black powder which remains after the solution of platina, I observered that it did not, as was generally believed, consist chiefly of plumbago, but contained some unknown metallic ingredients. Intending tot repeat my experiments with more attentions during the winter [1803/04], I mentioned the results of them to Sir Joseph Banks, together with my intention of communicating to the Royal Society my examination of this substance, as soon as it should appear in any degree satisfactory.
According to some authors, Fourcroy and Vauquelin gave the new substance the name of Ptene, from Greek πτηνος (ptènos) = winged. This Ptene consisted of Osmium and Iridium.
Griffith wrote about this name: "There are references in the literature to ptene or ptène (...) as a name for osmium; indeed, Tennant is said to have proposed this name for it, whereas Partington says that Fourcroy and Vauquelin proposed it. The author can find no trace of this ungainly name either in Tennant's paper or in those of the French authors."
(the references are J.N. Friend, Man and the Chemical Elements, London: Griffin, 1951, p. 303, and J. R. Partington, A History of Chemistry, London: Macmillan, 1962, Vol. 3, p. 105).
IrisThe element is named after Iris (Ἴρις), in Greek mythology the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. As the sun unites Earth and heaven, Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld. Iris is represented either as a rainbow, or as a young maiden with wings on her shoulders. As a goddess, Iris is associated with communication, messages, the rainbow and new endeavors. She is the goddess of the rainbow (note).
IRIDIUM, Platinum's twin companion
And to which it has a great resemblance,
Is a white and brittle metal that fuses
With difficulty in the Compound Blowpipe flame.