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awk
1545
Jun 23, 2017
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Thanks to this drop and a quick wikipedia search, I now know what "Ruthenium" is (a metal in the platinum group named after Russia).
Jun 23, 2017
keybers
156
Jun 24, 2017
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Not Russia. Territories of modern Ukraine and Belarus - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruthenian_language
Jun 24, 2017
awk
1545
Jun 24, 2017
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Oh okay, thanks for the clarification. Wikipedia said "The Baltic German scientist Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element in 1844 and named it after his homeland, the Russian Empire." and I was wondering how he got "Ruthenium" from that!
Jun 24, 2017
keybers
156
Jun 25, 2017
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A currently living Wikipedia editor might subscribe to the current view taken by Russia that it has claim to the old name Rus' (which was Ruthenia in Latin). Modern Ukraine disputes that, as Muscovy was originally a borderland of the Kyivan Rus' (Kyiv being the current capital of Ukraine) that remained relatively unscathed during the Mongol invasion (13th century) and gradually conquered the weakened metropoly (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruthenia#Late_Middle_Ages). What the views of Karl Ernst Claus the discoverer of ruthenium were, we'll probably never know; it's equally possible that he was a loyal Russian subject and meant "Ruthenia" as Russian Empire, and that he was a learned man aware of local history and local identities (himself having been a Baltic German https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Germans).
Jun 25, 2017
awk
1545
Jun 25, 2017
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Out of curiosity I dug around a little more.
Wikipedia omits the fact that the name actually comes from another German scientist, Gottfried Wilhelm Osann. He accepted a position at an Estonian university and (along with others) worked with Russian platinum-rich ore from the Ural Mountains. In 1828 he thought he found three new elements which he gave the names Pluranium, Polinium, and Ruthenium. He later withdrew his claims because he had trouble isolating anything in particular. Karl Claus (who was working on the same ore at the same university) later isolated a new metal in 1844, and used one of Osann's names. He used the name both to honor his heritage and as a nod to Osann's work. Sooo, the name originally comes from a German-born scientist working at an Estonian university. On the topic of ruthenium and fountain pens, I found this article on tip composition interesting: https://www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/wheres-iridium
Jun 25, 2017
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