Topics: Iodine, Thyroid, Humphry Davy Pages: 3 (745 words) Published: March 18, 2013
the halogen group with an atomic number of 53. The name iodine is from a Greek word: ioediës, meaning violet or purple because of the elements vapor. The natural element was discovered in 1811 by a French man name Bernard Courtois approximately around the time when France was at war (Swain). In a time of horror and death, there was a shortage of wood ashes used for obtaining potassium nitrate. As an alternative source of potassium, big companies and manufacturers turned towards cheap soda kep made from ashes of seaweeds (Swain). Bernard owned one of these plantations; he soon recognized a beautiful violet vapor that condensed with crystals from the seaweed. He spent time afterwards investigating, slowly feeding his curiosity with trials, he tested its reactions with ammonia, the mixture concluded to form a fulminating powder (Swain). Bernard was a successful businessman that had no intentions to changing the world; he was a curious businessman with a mind to feed. Although the birth of Iodine was from Bernard, he proposed his colleagues to continue his experiments with new tests: Clément a chemist professor, Gay-Lussac, Chaptal, Ampère and Humphry Davy in 1813. Through years of further research they discovered iodine was a indecomposable substance with similar chemical properties to chlorine, it as well formed new acids with hydrogen (Medicine net). By 1820, the discovery of iodine had already become a mind blowing medical phenomenon. Doctors increasingly thanked Bernard for iodine’s medical impact, the element found to be a perfect remedy for goiter; an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland that causes a lump to form in the throat ( Although he was recognized with awards for his discovery during the 1830’s, he never earned a lavishing beautiful life style. Bernard died by the age of 62 leaving no assets or property for his widow and son (Swain). His wife continued her life with out him aside, she suffered through financial difficulties...
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