Cleveite is an impure radioactive variety of uraninite containing uranium, found in Norway. It has the composition UO2 with about 10% of the uranium substituted by rare-earth elements.[2] It was named after Swedish chemist Per Teodor Cleve.

Cleveite was the first known terrestrial source of helium, which is created over time by alpha decay of the uranium and accumulates trapped (occluded) within the mineral. The first sample of helium was obtained by William Ramsay in 1895 when he treated a sample of the mineral with acid.[3] Cleve and Abraham Langlet succeeded in isolating helium from cleveite at about the same time.

Yttrogummite is a variant of cleveite also found in Norway.

Clevite sample (35321726345)
The cleveite sample from which Ramsay first purified helium, in the collection of University College London[1]

See also


  1. ^ Kirk, Wendy L. "Cleveite [not Clevite] and helium". Museums & Collections Blog. University College London. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  2. ^ Mindat.
  3. ^ Rayleigh, Robert and John Strutt, 1904, The Becquerel rays and the properties of radium, London, E. Arnold.
1895 in science

The year 1895 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

Abraham Langlet

Nils Abraham Langlet (9 July 1868 – 30 March 1936; known by his second given name) was a Swedish chemist.


For the radioactive mineral, see Cleveite.Clevite, Inc. was a Cleveland, Ohio based manufacturing company, founded as the Cleveland Graphite Bronze Company. The name was changed to Clevite in 1952 with the acquisition of the Brush Development Company. In 1969, Clevite was acquired by Gould-National Batteries. The company was a leading producer of bearings and a significant US government defense contractor.

Clevite acquired 51% of Transistor Products Inc in 1953 and with other acquisitions such as the German Intermetall in 1955 (a company founded by Herbert Mataré in 1952 and subsequently sold to ITT in 1965), developed a semiconductor division.


Helium (from Greek: ἥλιος, translit. Helios, lit. 'Sun') is a chemical element with symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas, the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling point is the lowest among all the elements. After hydrogen, helium is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the observable universe, being present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined. Its abundance is similar to this figure in the Sun and in Jupiter. This is due to the very high nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) of helium-4 with respect to the next three elements after helium. This helium-4 binding energy also accounts for why it is a product of both nuclear fusion and radioactive decay. Most helium in the universe is helium-4, the vast majority of which was formed during the Big Bang. Large amounts of new helium are being created by nuclear fusion of hydrogen in stars.

Helium is named for the Greek Titan of the Sun, Helios. It was first detected as an unknown yellow spectral line signature in sunlight during a solar eclipse in 1868 by Georges Rayet, Captain C. T. Haig, Norman R. Pogson, and Lieutenant John Herschel, and was subsequently confirmed by French astronomer Jules Janssen. Janssen is often jointly credited with detecting the element along with Norman Lockyer. Janssen recorded the helium spectral line during the solar eclipse of 1868 while Lockyer observed it from Britain. Lockyer was the first to propose that the line was due to a new element, which he named. The formal discovery of the element was made in 1895 by two Swedish chemists, Per Teodor Cleve and Nils Abraham Langlet, who found helium emanating from the uranium ore cleveite. In 1903, large reserves of helium were found in natural gas fields in parts of the United States, which is by far the largest supplier of the gas today.

Liquid helium is used in cryogenics (its largest single use, absorbing about a quarter of production), particularly in the cooling of superconducting magnets, with the main commercial application being in MRI scanners. Helium's other industrial uses—as a pressurizing and purge gas, as a protective atmosphere for arc welding and in processes such as growing crystals to make silicon wafers—account for half of the gas produced. A well-known but minor use is as a lifting gas in balloons and airships. As with any gas whose density differs from that of air, inhaling a small volume of helium temporarily changes the timbre and quality of the human voice. In scientific research, the behavior of the two fluid phases of helium-4 (helium I and helium II) is important to researchers studying quantum mechanics (in particular the property of superfluidity) and to those looking at the phenomena, such as superconductivity, produced in matter near absolute zero.

On Earth it is relatively rare—5.2 ppm by volume in the atmosphere. Most terrestrial helium present today is created by the natural radioactive decay of heavy radioactive elements (thorium and uranium, although there are other examples), as the alpha particles emitted by such decays consist of helium-4 nuclei. This radiogenic helium is trapped with natural gas in concentrations as great as 7% by volume, from which it is extracted commercially by a low-temperature separation process called fractional distillation. Previously, terrestrial helium—a non-renewable resource, because once released into the atmosphere it readily escapes into space—was thought to be in increasingly short supply. However, recent studies suggest that helium produced deep in the earth by radioactive decay can collect in natural gas reserves in larger than expected quantities, in some cases having been released by volcanic activity.

History of chemistry

The history of chemistry represents a time span from ancient history to the present. By 1000 BC, civilizations used technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include extracting metals from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, extracting chemicals from plants for medicine and perfume, rendering fat into soap, making glass,

and making alloys like bronze.

The protoscience of chemistry, alchemy, was unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations. However, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. The distinction began to emerge

when a clear differentiation was made between chemistry and alchemy by Robert Boyle in his work The Sceptical Chymist (1661). While both alchemy and chemistry are concerned with matter and its transformations, chemists are seen as applying scientific method to their work.

Chemistry is considered to have become an established science with the work of Antoine Lavoisier, who developed a law of conservation of mass that demanded careful measurement and quantitative observations of chemical phenomena. The history of chemistry is intertwined with the history of thermodynamics, especially through the work of Willard Gibbs.

Index of chemistry articles

Chemistry (from Egyptian kēme (chem), meaning "earth") is the physical science concerned with the composition, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions.Below is a list of chemistry-related articles. Chemical compounds are listed separately at list of organic compounds, list of inorganic compounds or list of biomolecules.

List of minerals

This is a list of minerals for which there are articles on Wikipedia.

Minerals are distinguished by various chemical and physical properties. Differences in chemical composition and crystal structure distinguish the various species. Within a mineral species there may be variation in physical properties or minor amounts of impurities that are recognized by mineralogists or wider society as a mineral variety.

Mineral variety names and mineraloids are to be listed after the valid minerals for each letter.

For a complete listing (about 5,000) of all mineral names, see List of minerals (complete).

List of multiple discoveries

Historians and sociologists have remarked the occurrence, in science, of "multiple independent discovery". Robert K. Merton defined such "multiples" as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other. "Sometimes," writes Merton, "the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before."Commonly cited examples of multiple independent discovery are the 17th-century independent formulation of calculus by Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others, described by A. Rupert Hall; the 18th-century discovery of oxygen by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and others; and the theory of the evolution of species, independently advanced in the 19th century by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.

Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to such famous historic instances. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.Merton contrasted a "multiple" with a "singleton"—a discovery that has been made uniquely by a single scientist or group of scientists working together.A distinction is drawn between a discovery and an invention, as discussed for example by Bolesław Prus. However, discoveries and inventions are inextricably related, in that discoveries lead to inventions, and inventions facilitate discoveries; and since the same phenomenon of multiplicity occurs in relation to both discoveries and inventions, this article lists both multiple discoveries and multiple inventions.

Noble gas

The noble gases (historically also the inert gases; sometimes referred to as aerogens) make up a group of chemical elements with similar properties; under standard conditions, they are all odorless, colorless, monatomic gases with very low chemical reactivity. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn). Oganesson (Og) is variously predicted to be a noble gas as well or to break the trend due to relativistic effects; its chemistry has not yet been investigated.

For the first six periods of the periodic table, the noble gases are exactly the members of group 18. Noble gases are typically highly unreactive except when under particular extreme conditions. The inertness of noble gases makes them very suitable in applications where reactions are not wanted. For example, argon is used in incandescent lamps to prevent the hot tungsten filament from oxidizing; also, helium is used in breathing gas by deep-sea divers to prevent oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) toxicity.

The properties of the noble gases can be well explained by modern theories of atomic structure: their outer shell of valence electrons is considered to be "full", giving them little tendency to participate in chemical reactions, and it has been possible to prepare only a few hundred noble gas compounds. The melting and boiling points for a given noble gas are close together, differing by less than 10 °C (18 °F); that is, they are liquids over only a small temperature range.

Neon, argon, krypton, and xenon are obtained from air in an air separation unit using the methods of liquefaction of gases and fractional distillation. Helium is sourced from natural gas fields that have high concentrations of helium in the natural gas, using cryogenic gas separation techniques, and radon is usually isolated from the radioactive decay of dissolved radium, thorium, or uranium compounds. Noble gases have several important applications in industries such as lighting, welding, and space exploration. A helium-oxygen breathing gas is often used by deep-sea divers at depths of seawater over 55 m (180 ft). After the risks caused by the flammability of hydrogen became apparent, it was replaced with helium in blimps and balloons.


In chemistry, a nonmetal (or non-metal) is a chemical element that mostly lacks the characteristics of a metal. Physically, a nonmetal tends to have a relatively low melting point, boiling point, and density. A nonmetal is typically brittle when solid and usually has poor thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. Chemically, nonmetals tend to have relatively high ionization energy, electron affinity, and electronegativity. They gain or share electrons when they react with other elements and chemical compounds. Seventeen elements are generally classified as nonmetals: most are gases (hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon, chlorine, argon, krypton, xenon and radon); one is a liquid (bromine); and a few are solids (carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, selenium, and iodine). Metalloids such as boron, silicon, and germanium are sometimes counted as nonmetals.

The nonmetals are divided into two categories reflecting their relative propensity to form chemical compounds: reactive nonmetals and noble gases. The reactive nonmetals vary in their nonmetallic character. The less electronegative of them, such as carbon and sulfur, mostly have weak to moderately strong nonmetallic properties and tend to form covalent compounds with metals. The more electronegative of the reactive nonmetals, such as oxygen and fluorine, are characterised by stronger nonmetallic properties and a tendency to form predominantly ionic compounds with metals. The noble gases are distinguished by their great reluctance to form compounds with other elements.

The distinction between categories is not absolute. Boundary overlaps, including with the metalloids, occur as outlying elements in each category show or begin to show less-distinct, hybrid-like, or atypical properties.

Although five times more elements are metals than nonmetals, two of the nonmetals—hydrogen and helium—make up over 99 percent of the observable universe. Another nonmetal, oxygen, makes up almost half of the Earth's crust, oceans, and atmosphere. Living organisms are composed almost entirely of nonmetals: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. Nonmetals form many more compounds than metals.

Per Teodor Cleve

Per Teodor Cleve (10 February 1840 – 18 June 1905) was a Swedish chemist, biologist, mineralogist and oceanographer. He is best known for his discovery of the chemical elements holmium and thulium.Born in Stockholm in 1840, Cleve earned his BSc and PhD from Uppsala University in 1863 and 1868, respectively. After receiving his PhD, he became an assistant professor of chemistry at the university. He later became professor of general and agricultural chemistry. In 1874 he theorised that didymium was in fact two elements; this theory was confirmed in 1885 when Carl Auer von Welsbach discovered neodymium and praseodymium.

In 1879 Cleve discovered holmium and thulium. His other contributions to chemistry include the discovery of aminonaphthalenesulfonic acids, also known as Cleve's acids. From 1890 on he focused on biological studies. He developed a method of determining the age and order of late glacial and postglacial deposits from the types of diatom fossils in the deposits, and wrote a seminal text in the field of oceanography. He died in 1905 at age 65.

Timeline of chemical element discoveries

The discovery of the 118 chemical elements known to exist as of 2019 is presented in chronological order. The elements are listed generally in the order in which each was first defined as the pure element, as the exact date of discovery of most elements cannot be accurately determined. There are plans to synthesise more elements, and it is not known how many elements are possible.

Each element's name, atomic number, year of first report, name of the discoverer, and notes related to the discovery are listed.

Timeline of physical chemistry

The timeline of physical chemistry lists the sequence of physical chemistry theories and discoveries in chronological order.

Uranium dioxide

Uranium dioxide or uranium(IV) oxide (UO2), also known as urania or uranous oxide, is an oxide of uranium, and is a black, radioactive, crystalline powder that naturally occurs in the mineral uraninite. It is used in nuclear fuel rods in nuclear reactors. A mixture of uranium and plutonium dioxides is used as MOX fuel. Prior to 1960, it was used as yellow and black color in ceramic glazes and glass.

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