72. Hafnium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Hafnium – Hafnium – Hafnium – Hafnio – ハフニウム – Гафний – 鉿
Multilingual dictionary

Hafnium Latin

— Germanic
Hafnium Afrikaans
Hafnium Danish
Hafnium German
Hafnium English
Hafnium Faroese
Hafnium Frisian (West)
Hafnín Icelandic
Hafnium Luxembourgish
Hafnium Dutch
Hafnium Norwegian
Hafnium Swedish

— Italic
Hafnio Aragonese
Hafniumu Aromanian
Hafniu Asturian
Hafni Catalan
Hafnio Spanish
Hafnium French
Afni Friulian
Hafnio Galician
Hafnio Italian
Àfni Lombard
Afni Occitan
Háfnio Portuguese
Hafniu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Хафиий [Hafiij] Bulgarian
Hafnij[um] Bosnian
Гафній [hafnij] Belarusian
Hafnium Czech
Hafnij Croatian
Hafen Kashubian
Хафниум [Hafnium] Macedonian
Hafn Polish
Гафний [Gafnij] Russian
Hafnium Slovak
Hafnij Slovenian
Хафиијум [Hafiijum] Serbian
Гафній [hafnij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Hafnis Lithuanian
Hafnijs Latvian
Hafnis Samogitian

— Celtic
Hafniom Breton
Haffniwm Welsh
Haifniam Gaelic (Irish)
Haifniam Gaelic (Scottish)
Hafnium Gaelic (Manx)
Hafnyum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Άφνιο [hafnio] Greek
Հաֆնիում [hafnium] Armenian
Hafnium[i] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Hafniyûm Kurdish
Гафний [gafnij] Ossetian
Гафний [Gafni'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
হাফনিয়াম [hāphniẏāma] Bengali
هافنیم [hafnym] Persian
હાફ્નિયમનો [hāphniyamano] Gujarati
हाफ्नियम [hāphniyama] Hindi

Hafnium Estonian
Hafnium Finnish
Hafnium Hungarian
Гафний [Gafnij] Komi
Гафний [Gafnij] Mari
Гафни [gafni] Moksha
Hafnium Võro

Hafnium Azerbaijani
Гафни [Gafni] Chuvash
Гафний [gafnij] Kazakh
Гафний [Gafnij] Kyrgyz
Гафни [gafni] Mongolian
Hafniyum Turkish
گافنىي [gafniy] Uyghur
Gafniy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Hafnioa Basque
ჰაფნიუმი [hap'niumi] Georgian

هفنيوم [hafniyūm] Arabic
הפניום [hafnium] Hebrew
Ħafnjum, ²Afnju Maltese

Kap (鉿) Hakka
ハフニウム [hafuniumu] Japanese
하프늄 [hapeunyum] Korean
แฮฟเนียม [haefniam] Thai
Hafini Vietnamese
[jia2 / hap9] Chinese

Hafnyo Cebuano
Hafnium Indonesian
Hafnium Māori
Hafnium Malay

Other Asiatic
ഹാഫ്നിയം [hāphniyam] Malayalam
ஹப்னியம் [hapṉiyam] Tamil

Hafenu Lingala
Hafniamo Sesotho
Hafni Swahili

Hafnio Nahuatl

Hafniyu Quechua

Hafnimi Sranan Tongo

Hafnio Esperanto

New names
Hafnion Atomic Elements
Nuclarium Dorseyville
memory peg

Dark gray, dense metal which can take on a high polish
melting point 2227 °C; 4041 °F
boiling point 4602 °C; 8316 °F
density 13.31 g/cc; 830.92 pounds/cubic foot
1922 Dirk Coster & György Karl von Hevesy, Denmark
Hafnia = København (Copenhagen) (Latin)

History & Etymology

Chemists suspected long time, that Zirconium minerals contained the impurity of some unknown element. Many of them reported the discovery of this element:

  • 1845: The Swedish chemist and mineralogist Lars Fredrik Svanberg (1805-1878) reported the discovery in zircon of this new element, which he named Norium.
  • Ostranium (остраний),
  • 1869: Henry Clifton Sorby discovered Jargonium by spectroscopical analysis. He retracted his claim the following year: the spectrum he had seen was due to impure Zirconium (note).
  • 1879: Tellef Dahl, inspector of the Norwegian mines, found a new metal in nickel pyrite of Kragerø, in Norway, and named it Norwegium (Ng) (norvégium) after the country in which it was first found (note).
  • 1911: Nigrium.
  • Euxenium (эвксений).

On the basis of the periodic law the Danish chemist Julius Thomsen (1826-1909) showed in 1895 that an element must exist between the rare earths and Tantalum, different from the rare earths and close to Zirconium.

The final discovery of Hafnium in the first half of the twentieth century was one of chemistry’s more controversial episodes. In 1911 Georges Urbain, the French chemist and authority on the rare earths, claimed to have isolated the element of atomic number 72 from a sample of rare-earth residues, and named it Celtium (Ct) (note). It seems very unlikely that this element could have been found in the necessary concentrations along with rare earths. But, in 1922 Urbain and Alexandre Dauvillier claimed to have X-ray evidence to support the discovery (note).

Around the same time a mineral orthite, found on the Svjatoj Nos peninsula in the Trans-Baykal region, was brought under the attention of the chemists in St. Petersburg. It was supposed that orthite contained one of the most interesting radioactive elements, Thorium. The geochemist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadskij (Владимир Иванович Вернадский) (1863-1945) charged the analysis of orthite to his student Konstantin Avtonomovich Nenadkevich (Константин Автономович Ненадкевич) (1880-1963). Soon he extracted from orthite the assumed thorium, but they were not confident, that they had isolated Thorium. Nenadkevich determined the atomic weight of the element and it turned out that it was equal to 178, while the atomic weight of Thorium is 232. In accordance with the periodic law the element in orthite must be found in Mendeleyev's table between Lutecium and Tantalum, thus element #72. Since this was an empty place, Nenadkevich had found a new element, which he named Asium (азием), after Asia, where the mineral was found. Because of the First World War and the following Civil War in Russia, the necessary further confirmation research and publication was delayed.

By that time Niels Bohr had developed his atomic theory and so was confident that element 72 would be a member of Group 4 and was more likely to be found along with zirconium than with the rare earths. Working in Bohr's laboratory in Copenhagen in 1922, the Dutchman Dirk Coster (1889-1950) and the Hungarian György Karl von Hevesy (1885-1966) used X-ray spectroscopic analysis to show that element 72 was present in Norwegian zircon.

In November 1922 was announced that the Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 1922 was awarded to Bohr "for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them". Bohr went to Stockholm to receive the prize and would give his Nobel Lecture "The structure of the atom". The day before his presentation, Bohr received a very significant message of Coster and Hevesy which had remained in Copenhagen. They had just highlighted lines which must be from element 72. The Dutchman Coster proposed the name Hafnium (after Copenhagen), and although Bohr preferred the name Danium (after Denmark), he accepted Coster's name. Bohr announced the discovery of Hafnium in his Nobel Lecture:

"In these circumstances Dr. Coster and Prof. Hevesy, who are both for the time working in Copenhagen, took up a short time ago the problem of testing a preparation of zircon-bearing minerals by X-ray spectroscopic analysis. These investigators have been able to establish the existence in the minerals investigated of appreciable quantities of an element with atomic number 72, the chemical properties of which show a great similarity to those of zirconium and a decided difference from those of the rare-earths.*" (note)

The note in the published version says:

"* For the result of the continued work of Coster and Hevesy with the new element, for which they have proposed the name hafnium, the reader may be referred to their letters in Nature of January 20, February 10 and 24, and April 7."

Copenhagen (English pronunciation: /ˈkoʊpənˌheɪɡən/); Danish: København (pronounced [kʰøb̥ənˈhaʊ̯ˀn] is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,167,569 (2009) and a metropolitan population of 1,875,179 (2009). Copenhagen is situated on the islands of Zealand and Amager. First documented in the 11th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the beginning of the 15th century and during the 17th century under the reign of Christian IV it became an important regional centre.

The city's origin as a harbour and a place of commerce is reflected in its name. Its original designation, from which the contemporary Danish name is derived, was Køpmannæhafn, "merchants' harbour". The English name for the city is derived from its Low German name, Kopenhagen (note).

The element is named after Copenhagen, because in this town the element was discovered. Copenhagen, or more correct in Danish København, means literally "merchant's harbour".

Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 820-823.
  • François Gaudreau, Le tableau périodique et la découverte de l'hafnium. Sherbrooke, Québec (on-line)
  • Eric Scerri, "Prediction of the Nature of Hafnium from Chemistry, Bohr's Theory and Quantum Theory." Annals of Science 51 (1994): 137-150. (on-line)

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements