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Converting waste heat into electricity

Bruce White worked with semiconductors and transistors at Motorola and Texas Instruments. But when he left industry for a position on Binghamton University's faculty, the materials scientist decided to take his research in ...

New family of glass good for lenses

A new composition of germanosilicate glass created by adding zinc oxide has properties good for lens applications, according to Penn State researchers. This marks the discovery of a novel glass family.

Uranium crystals could reveal future of nuclear fuel

Mention the word "crystals" and few people think of nuclear fuel. Unless you are Eric Burgett. The Idaho State University professor is on a quest to create pure, single crystals of uranium and uranium oxide so researchers ...

Ancient effect harnessed to produce electricity from waste heat

A phenomenon first observed by an ancient Greek philosopher 2,300 years ago has become the basis for a new device designed to harvest the enormous amounts of energy wasted as heat each year to produce electricity. The first-of-its-kind ...

Quantum dot LEDs get brighter, more efficient

(Phys.org) -- While quantum dot-based light-emitting diodes (QLEDs) are not made of organic materials, they share many of the same advantages as organic LEDs (OLEDs). For instance, both QLEDs and OLEDs outshine semiconductor-based ...

Chocolate, tea or coffee with zinc could reduce oxidative stress

Ageing and a low life expectancy are caused, at least partly, by oxidative stress. A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Ivana Ivanovi-Burmazovi from the Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität ...

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Zinc

Zinc (pronounced /ˈzɪŋk/, from German: Zink and also known as spelter) is a metallic chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is a first-row transition metal in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is chemically similar to magnesium because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most exploited zinc ore is sphalerite, or zinc sulfide; the largest exploitable deposits are found in Australia, Canada and the United States. Zinc production includes froth flotation of the ore, roasting and final extraction using electricity.

Brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, has been used since at least the 10th century BC. Impure zinc metal was not produced in large scale until the 13th century in India, while the metal was unknown to Europe until the end of the 16th century. Alchemists burned zinc in air to form what they called "philosopher's wool" or "white snow." The element was probably named by the alchemist Paracelsus after the German word Zinke. German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf is normally given credit for discovering pure metallic zinc in a 1746 experiment. Work by Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta uncovered the electrochemical properties of zinc by 1800. Corrosion-resistant zinc plating of steel is the major application for zinc. Other applications are in batteries and alloys, such as brass. A variety of zinc compounds are commonly used, such as zinc chloride (in deodorants), zinc pyrithione (anti-dandruff shampoos), zinc sulfide (in luminescent paints), and zinc methyl or zinc diethyl in the organic laboratory.

Zinc is an essential mineral of "exceptional biologic and public health importance". Zinc deficiency affects about 2 billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases. In children it causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year. Enzymes with a zinc atom in the reactive center are widespread in biochemistry, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in humans. Consumption of excess zinc can cause ataxia, lethargy and copper deficiency.

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