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What the name means: Although manganese is not magnetic, its name comes from the Latin magnes, meaning magnet. This is because the Latin word magnes was named after a Greek region, Magnesia, where manganese ores were found along with iron ores that are magnetic.
Who identified manganese?: The manganese-containing ore, pyrolusite, was used by prehistoric man to create colour for cave paintings. The Romans and the Egyptians used it to colour glass and pottery. It was not until the 17th century that mineralologists began studying the chemical composition of ores.
For a long time it was thought that pyrolusite, or magnesia nigri, was an iron ore. Johann Heinrich Pott proved that this was not so in 1740. In 1770, Torbern Olof Bergman realised that the ore contained a new element but he was unable to isolate it. This was achieved by John Gottlieb Gahn in 1774 and the new element was named manganese by Carl Scheele.
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About manganese: Manganese is not found as the isolated element in the Earth's crust but there are nodules of manganese on the floor of the oceans! Manganese is a silvery metal that is harder than steel. It is essential to living things. Humans need to take in about 4mg of manganese every day to stay healthy.
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