We’ve palled around with tin for thousands of years, but you should know that it’s a fair-weather friend.
About a quarter of the way through Peter Wothers’ new book, Antimony, Gold, And Jupiter’s Wolf: How The Elements Were Named, I realized how much of an understatement that subtitle is. Wothers has done much more than supply origin stories for the elements’ names — he’s told the tale of societies slowly learning how to communicate with one another in a rapidly changing world.
A fifty-year search comes to an end, a periodic table ’round your neck, and lithium is looking as volatile as ever. It’s time for an Element Update!