Atomic number: 42
Year discovered: 1778
Discovered by: Karl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786), a Swedish chemist.
- In 1778, Karl Wilhelm Scheele conducted research on an ore now known as molybdenite.
- He concluded that it did not contain lead as was suspected at the time and reported that the mineral contained a new element that he called molybdenum after the mineral.
- Molybdenum metal was prepared in an impure form, in 1782, by Peter Jacob Hjelm (1746-1813), a Swedish mineralogist.
- Molybdenum is a silvery-white, hard, transition metal.
- It was often confused with graphite and lead ore.
- Molybdenum is used in alloys, electrodes, and catalysts.
- In World War II, a German artillery piece called “Big Bertha” contained molybdenum as an essential component of its steel.
- Molybdenum increases the strength, toughness, and uniformity of cast iron, in which it is extensively used.
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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.