Platinum Facts

Platinum Facts
Platinum (Pt) has an atomic number of seventy-eight. It is a malleable, highly precious member of the transition metals group.
Interesting Platinum Facts:
Platinum has been in use by ancient civilizations in Central and South America.
Scientists studied samples of the metal after European exploration of the region began.
Although Spanish scientist Antonio de Ulloa is given the credit for discovering platinum in 1748, a large number of European scientists began studying and attempting to isolate platinum.
As a result of these experiments, platinum was isolated from other known elements, but their samples still contained the as-of-yet undiscovered other members of the platinum metals group.
This contamination by other members of the PMG led to inaccuracies in their experiments over time.
Like the other platinum metals, a common means of production of platinum is as a waste product in the refining of nickel and copper.
For almost 100 years (1889 to 1960), a 90% platinum alloy was the international standard for the definition of one meter.
The kilogram is still officially defined by a platinum-iridium cylinder made in 1879.
Platinum has six isotopes that occur in nature.
Only one of those naturally occurring isotopes is radioactive.
There are also thirty-one synthesized isotopes of platinum.
Platinum is considered very rare, at only 0.005 parts per million in the planet's crust.
The Earth's moon and meteorites often contain higher concentrations of platinum.
It does occur naturally in an uncombined state.
It is also often found combined with iridium.
The same locations that produced the original samples taken to Europe for further study are still the major sources of platinum mining.
South Africa is the leading producer of refined platinum, controlling 77% of the global share.
Although treasured for jewelry making, almost half of platinum's major industrial application is in catalytic converters for automobiles.
While vehicles and jewelry making use about 46% and 31% respectively, all other applications of platinum, including coinage and investing, make up the remaining amount.

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