90. Thorium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Thorium – Thorium – Thorium – Tório – トリウム – Торий – 釷
Multilingual dictionary

Thorium Latin

— Germanic
Torium Afrikaans
Thorium Danish
Thorium German
Thorium English
Thorium Faroese
Thorium Frisian (West)
Þórín Icelandic
Thorium Luxembourgish
Thorium Dutch
Thorium Norwegian
Torium Swedish

— Italic
Torio Aragonese
Toriumu Aromanian
Toriu Asturian
Tori Catalan
Tório Spanish
Thorium French
Tori Friulian
Torio Galician
Torio Italian
Tòri Lombard
Tòri Occitan
Tório Portuguese
Toriu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Торий [Torij] Bulgarian
Thorijum, ²Torij Bosnian
Торый [toryj] Belarusian
Thorium Czech
Torij Croatian
Tor Kashubian
Ториум [Torium] Macedonian
Tor Polish
Торий [Torij] Russian
Thorium Slovak
Torij Slovenian
Торијум [Torijum] Serbian
Торій [torij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Toris Lithuanian
Torijs Latvian
Toris Samogitian

— Celtic
Toriom Breton
Thoriwm Welsh
Tóiriam Gaelic (Irish)
Tòiriam Gaelic (Scottish)
Thorium Gaelic (Manx)
Thoryum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Θοριο [thorio] Greek
Թորիում [t'orium] Armenian
Torium, ²Thoriumi Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Toryûm Kurdish
Торий [torij] Ossetian
Торий [Tori'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
থোরিয়াম [thoriẏāma] Bengali
توریم [twrym] Persian
થોરિયમનો [thoriyamano] Gujarati
थोरियम [thoriyama] Hindi

Toorium Estonian
Torium Finnish
Tórium Hungarian
Торий [Torij] Komi
Торий [Torij] Mari
Тори [tori] Moksha
Toorium Võro

Torium Azerbaijani
Тори [Tori] Chuvash
Торий [torij] Kazakh
Торий [Torij] Kyrgyz
Тори [tori] Mongolian
Toryum Turkish
تورىي [toriy] Uyghur
Toriy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Torioa Basque
თორიუმი [t'oriumi] Georgian

ثوريوم [thūriyūm] Arabic
תוריום [thorium] Hebrew
Torju[m] Maltese

Thú (釷) Hakka
トリウム [toriumu] Japanese
토륨 [toryum] Korean
ทอเรียม [thoriam] Thai
Thori Vietnamese
[tu3 / to2] Chinese

Toryo Cebuano
Torium Indonesian
Thorium Māori
Torium Malay

Other Asiatic
തോറിയം [tōṟiyam] Malayalam
தோரியம் [tōriyam] Tamil

Tolu Lingala
Toriamo Sesotho
Thori Swahili

Torio Nahuatl

Thoryu Quechua

Kabasino Sranan Tongo

Torio Esperanto

New names
Torion Atomic Elements
Glassium Dorseyville
memory peg

Radioactive metal
melting point 1750 °C; 3182 °F
boiling point ~4790 °C; ~8654 °F
density 11.72 g/cc; 731.66 pounds/cubic foot
1829 Jöns Jakob Berzelius, Sweden
Thor, Scandinavian god of war

History & Etymology

In 1815, the Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848) obtained a material which he regarded as a new earth. He assigned this to a new oxide and the corresponding metal name was intended to honor Thor, the ancient Scandinavian god of thunder (note). However, in 1824, it turned out that this supposedly new earth was Yttrium phosphate.

Four years later, Reverend Hans Morten Thrane Esmark (1801-1882) discovered a black mineral on the island of Løvø (Finsholm) near Brevik, Norway. "Han kaldte det op efter Guden Thor" and gave a sample of this material to his father Jens Esmark, a leading Norwegian old-earth geology professor. Professor Esmark was unable to identify it as any known mineral, so he in turn sent a specimen to Berzelius for examination. A chemical analysis of this mineral by Berzelius demonstrated that it contained almost 60% of a new earth which he reported as distinct from all others known. It appears that, in naming this new oxide thoria and the mineral which it was obtained thorite (ThSiO4), Berzelius fully restores the dignity of Thor from the earlier near humiliation.

The discovery of Thorium was announced by Berzelius in a publication in 1829 (note).

In Orangite, a mineral very similar to Thorite, found in Langesundfjord near Brevik, C. Bergemann thought in 1851 to have found a new element, different from Thorium. He named it Donarium, after the German god of war (note). Shortly afterwards was found the Orangite was identical with Thorite and Donarium identical with Thorium.

John and Gordon Marks suggested in 1994 the symbol Θ (note).

In 1862 J.F. Bahr described a new metal oxide from a mineral Wasite found on the island of Rösholm near Stockholm. He named the new element Wasium (note). Just as the mineral, named after Wasa, or Vasa, the name of a former royal family of Sweden. Within a year Bahr himself rejected his discovery: it was probably Thorium.

In The Tech, the newspaper of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of 21 April 1908 was announced that "Dr. Baskerville, of the University of North Carolina, (...) has resolved thorium into two new elements. One of these he has named Carolinium, after the State; the other Berzelium, in honor of the great Swedish chemist." (note).

Isotopes with the historical name ...thorium-...
NameHist. symb.Mod. symb.
Thorium Th 232Th
Mesothorium 1
Thorium 1
MsTh1 228Ra
Mesothorium 2
Thorium 2
MsTh2 228Ac
Thorium 3
RdTh 228Th
Thorium Emanation
Thorium-A Th A 216Po
Thorium-B Th B 212Pb earlier Th A 216Po
Thorium-C Th C 212Bi
Thorium-C' Th C' 212Po earlier Th C 212Bi
Thorium-C'' Th C'' 208Tl
Thorium-D Th D 208Pb

Historical names of Thorium Isotopes
Name & Symbol (hist. and modern) First described Notes
Uranium X1 U X1 234Th 1913 Kasimir Fajans & O.H. Göhring  
Uranium Y U Y 231Th 1911 Antonoff  
Ionium Io 230Th 1908 Bertram B. Boltwood Boltwood separated a substance from Uranium minerals which he has called Ionium and described by Boltwood as having chemical properties very similar to those of Thorium.
Radiothorium RdTh 228Th 1905 Otto Hahn Hahn suggested the names Thorium 1, Thorium 2, and Thorium 3 for Mesothorium 1, Mesothorium 2, and Radiothorium respectively, but his suggestion was not followed
Radioactinium Rd Ac 227Th 1906 Otto Hahn  

Thor (Old Norse: Þōrr, Þunarr; Old English: Þunor, Þūr; Old Saxon: Þunær; Frisian: Tonger, Old Dutch: Donar; Old High German: Donar; Proto-Germanic: *Thunaraz) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder in Germanic mythology and Germanic paganism, and its subsets: Norse paganism, Anglo-Saxon paganism and Continental Germanic paganism.

Most surviving stories relating to Germanic mythology either mention Thor or focus on Thor's exploits. Thor was a much revered god of the ancient Germanic peoples from at least the earliest surviving written accounts of the indigenous Germanic tribes to over a thousand years later in the late Viking Age.

Thor was appealed to for protection on numerous objects found from various Germanic tribes. Miniature replicas of Mjöllnir, the weapon of Thor, became a defiant symbol of Norse paganism during the Christianization of Scandinavia (note).

Chemistianity 1873
THORIUM, a very rare metal,
Is a gray powder with metallic lustre
Which, heated in Air, burns with great splendour,
Producing Thoria, snow-white whilst hot,
Yellow when cold. Thorium does not exist native,
But combined with Silica in Thorite
Found in Norway,and in min'ral Monascite.
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 156-157
Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 532-535.
  • Winfried Kölzer, Radioaktivität, Strahlenexposition, Strahlenwirkung. Bonn: Informationskreis Kernenergie, 2000 (PDF file on-line).
  • Lauri Niinistö, "Swedish Contributions to the Discovery of Elements: Part 2: The Work of Berzelius." ERES Newsletter, vol. 10, no. 1 (31 August 1999). (on-line).
  • Thorium und Isotope. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 44 (1955).

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements