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Germanium
 
Element Rebus for Germanium

GER-MA-NI-UM

Chem4Kids Scientist Guy with Spiked Hair You might think the name germanium sounds like the country Germany. You'd be right. Germanium was discovered in 1886 by a chemist named Winkler and was named after Germany. You will find many other elements that were named after people or places as you study the elements of the periodic table.

Germanium has been found in many minerals and when purified, is a grayish color but has physicals traits of both a metal and a crystal. It is very brittle and can even shatter. It is in the same family with the elements carbon and silicon.

Where can you find germanium?

Camera Lenses
Camera Lenses
Germanium is used in the manufacture of wide-angle camera lenses. The element gives special properties to the glass.
Silicon Wafer
Semiconductors
Because germanium has traits that are similar to silicon and tin, the semiconductor industry uses germanium on a regular basis.
Alloys
Alloys
It's not that germanium is some awesome metal, it's just a good element to add to other metals. In the same way that you might add carbon to steel manufacturing, sometimes you add germanium.
Fluorescent Lamps
Fluorescent Lamps
Those big fluorescent tubes have a coating on the inside that allows them to glow. Germanium is one of the elements on the inside of the fluorescent bulbs.

> More about the orbitals and compounds of germanium.

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