Chemical Element: germanium

(Modern Latin: chemical element; named for Germany; metal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Ge
Atomic number: 32
Year discovered: 1886

Discovered by: Clemens Alexander Winkler (1838-1904), a German chemist.

  • Winkler analyzed silver ore and, when he had completed his work, he found that the elements he had located added up to only 93 percent of the whole.
  • Puzzled, he searched out the remaining 7 percent and, in 1886, he found a hitherto unrecognized element, which he named “germanium” for Germany.
  • Germanium was discovered in a mineral called argyrodite.
  • Germanium was an element whose existence was predicted by D. I. Mendeléyev in 1871.
  • He suggested that the then unknown element germanium should resemble silicon in its properties.
  • He also suggested; therefore, the name eka-silicon (symbol Es).
  • His predictions for the properties of germanium are remarkably close to reality.
  • Three predictions were made, three predictions were fulfilled.

Name in other languages:

French: germanium

German: Germanium

Italian: germanio

Spanish: germanio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.