The Open Door Web Site
What the name means: Gallium is named after the Latin word for France, Gallia.
Who identified gallium?: A Frenchman named Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran used a procedure called spectroscopy on a rock sample from a mine in the Pyrenees. Spectroscopy is used to take photographs of the light either given out by or taken in by elements. In 1875, Boisbaudran identified a new light pattern that he concluded must belong to a new element.
Dmitri Mendeleev, in 1871, had predicted from his periodic table that there must be an element at number 31, in the same vertical group as aluminium. Boisbaudran found that the spectrum of the new element was similar to both aluminium and boron, and concluded that this was the missing element. He called the element Gallium after his home country, France. (There was a suspicion, which Boisbaudran himself denied, that he called the element Gallium after the Latin for cock which is gallus. Cock is le coq in French so there were those who suggested that he called the element after himself!).
STP = standard temperature and pressure.
About gallium: Gallium is extremely rare in the Earth's crust. It is never found as the free element. Since it easily forms alloys with other metals, it is often found in very small amounts associated with aluminium and zinc compounds. It can be extracted to give a soft, silvery metal that is used for such things as adding brilliance to mirrors and to make useful alloys.
The Open Door Web Site is non-profit making. Your donations help towards the cost of maintaining this free service on-line.
Donate to the Open Door Web Site using PayPal