52. Tellurium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

This site comprises 120 pages of text and photos, one for each element, and several pages for access. – For captions or explanatory texts move your mouse over illustrations, links etc.

Telluur – Tellur – Tellure – Teluro – テルル – Теллур – 碲
Multilingual dictionary

Tellurium Latin

— Germanic
Telluur Afrikaans
Tellur Danish
Tellur German
Tellurium English
Tellur Faroese
Telluur Frisian (West)
Tellúr Icelandic
Tellur Luxembourgish
Telluur Dutch
Tellur Norwegian
Tellur Swedish

— Italic
Teluro Aragonese
Teluru Aromanian
Teluriu Asturian
Telluri Catalan
Teluro Spanish
Tellure French
Teluri Friulian
Telurio Galician
Tellurio Italian
Telüri Lombard
Telluri Occitan
Telúrio Portuguese
Telur Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Телур [Telur] Bulgarian
Telur Bosnian
Тэлур [tèlur] Belarusian
Tellur Czech
Telurij Croatian
Tellur Kashubian
Телур [Telur] Macedonian
Tellur Polish
Теллур [Tellur] Russian
Telúr Slovak
Telur Slovenian
Телур [Telur] Serbian
Телур [telur] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Telūras Lithuanian
Telūrs Latvian
Telūrs Samogitian

— Celtic
Tellur Breton
Telwriwm Welsh
Teallúiriam Gaelic (Irish)
Teallùiriam Gaelic (Scottish)
Çhellurium Gaelic (Manx)
Teluryum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Τελλουριο [tellourio] Greek
Տելուր [telur] Armenian
Telur, ²Telluri Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Tellür Kurdish
Теллур [tellur] Ossetian
Теллур [Tellur] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
টেলুরিয়াম [ṭeluriẏāma] Bengali
تلوریم [tlwrym] Persian
ટૅલ્યુરિયમનો [ṭelyuriyamano] Gujarati
टेलुरियम [ṭeluriyama] Hindi

Telluur Estonian
Telluuri Finnish
Tellúr Hungarian
Теллур [Tellur] Komi
Теллур [Tellur] Mari
Телури [teluri] Moksha
Telluur Võro

Tellur Azerbaijani
Теллур [Tellur] Chuvash
Теллур [tellûr] Kazakh
Теллур [Tellur] Kyrgyz
Теллур [tellur] Mongolian
Tellur Turkish
تېللۇر [tellur] Uyghur
Tellur Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Telurioa Basque
ტელური [teluri] Georgian

تيلوريوم [tallūriyūm] Arabic
טלוריום [telurium] Hebrew
Tellurju[m] Maltese

Ti (碲) Hakka
テルル [teruru] Japanese
텔루르, 2텔루륨 [tellureu, telluryum] Korean
เทลลูเรียม [tēllūriam] Thai
Telua, Telu Vietnamese
[di4 / dai3] Chinese

Teluryo Cebuano
Telurium Indonesian
Tellurium Māori
Telurium Malay

Other Asiatic
ടെലൂറിയം [ṭelūṟiyam] Malayalam
தெலூரியம் [telūriyam] Tamil

Telulu Lingala
Telluriamo Sesotho
Teluri Swahili

Teluro Nahuatl

Teluryu Quechua

Telurimi Sranan Tongo

Teluro Esperanto

New names
Telorion Atomic Elements
Gew Dorseyville
memory peg

Very reflective metal-like crystal, or a nondescript grayish powder
melting point 450 °C; 841 °F
boiling point 990 °C; 1814 °F
density 6.24 g/cc; 389.55 pounds/cubic foot
1782 Franz Joseph Müller von Reichenstein, Austria
tellus = the Earth (Latin)
Named by Martin H. Klaproth in 1798

History & Etymology

Tellurium was discovered in a certain gold ore from Transylvania. This ore, known as "Faczebajer weißes blättriges Golderz" (white leafy gold ore from Faczebaja) or "antimonalischer Goldkies" (antimonic gold pyrite), was according to professor Anton von Rupprecht "Spießglaskönig" (argent molybdique), containing native Antimony (note). The same ore was analyzed by by Franz Joseph Müller Freiherr von Reichenstein (1742-1825) (note), chief inspector of mines in Transsylvania, he concluded in 1782 that the ore did not contain Antimony, but that it was Bismuth sulphide (note). A year later he reported that this was erroneous and that the ore contained mainly gold and an unknown metal very similar to Antimony (note). However, Müller was not able to identify this metal. He gave it the name aurum paradoxium or metallum problematicum because it did not show the properties predicted for the Antimony he was expecting.

Müller sent samples to Torbern Bergman (1735-1784) for further analysis, but he died before he could do further analysis. Twelve years later, Müller, still searching for the new metal, sent a specimen to Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817). He succeeded and confirmed the discovery of the new metal. In his paper before the Academy of Sciences of Berlin of 25 January 1798 he gave the metal the "von der alten Mutter Erde entlehnten" name Tellurium, that derives of Latin tellus = Earth:

and in the French translation:

(Cf. Selenium).

In his 1798 report Klaproth gave full credit to the original discoverer, Müller von Reichenstein, but forgot to mention the Hungarian chemist Paul Kitaibel (1757-1817), who in 1789 had independently discovered the new metal and had sent his report to Klaproth.

Kitaibel had in 1789 found the new element in an ore from Deutsch-Pilsen (Börzseny), which was considered to be molybdic silver (argentiferous molybdenite). Later, he also analyzed Müller's aurum problematicum and found that it contained the same new element. His report handed over to Klaproth, when he visited Vienna in 1796, who gave him a most favorable written report. He obviously forgot the whole matter or did not notice that it concerned the same metal, when he reported on Müller's metal.

Chemistianity 1873
TELLURIUM, a Sulphur displacer,
Is a bright and silver-like metalloid,
With rhombohedral crystals like Arsenic;
'Tis brittle, and an indiff'rent heat conductor.
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 106
Further reading
  • At the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Müller's birth the Montanhistorische Verein für Österreich (MHVÖ) organized on 23 and 24 September 1992 a symposium in Polysdorf, with the theme: "Franz Josef Müller von Reichenstein und das Montanwesen in der 2. Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts". The proceedings were published in the 1992 issue of their journal Res Montanarum. Several contribution are devoted to the discovery of Tellurium.

    Table of contents (click on the cover for the website).
    Simone und Peter HUBER: Die Medaille aus Nagyager Tellur
    Erich SCHROLL und Diets SAUER: Tellur in Natur und Technik
    Diets SAUER und Erich SCHROLL: Tellur und Medizin
    Ferenc SZABADVARY: Die Entdeckung des Tellurs
    Istvan TRINGLI: Franz Joseph Müller als bekannter und unbekannter Wissenschafter
    Simone und Peter HUBER: Franz Joseph Müller Freiherr von Reichenstein – seine Bedeutung für die Mineralogie und seine Veröffentlichungen
    Joseph PEYER: Franz Joseph MÜLLER – Vorfahren und Kindheit
    Georg MUTSCHLECHNER: Franz Joseph Müller in Tirol (1775 – 1778)
    Ion DORDEA: Aus dem Leben und Wirken des Gubernialrats Franz Joseph Müller von Reichenstein als Leiter des Siebenbürgischen Bergwerksthesauriats in den Jahren 1778 – 1802
    Jozef VOZAR: Franz Joseph Müller in der Slowakei
    Alfred WEISS: Die Entwicklung des k.k. Montanwesens im 18. Jahrhundert
    Jozef VOZAR: Das Schemnitzer Bergwesen und die Gründung der Bergakademie

  • Tellur. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 11 (1940).
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 289-305.

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements