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No. 822: Periodic Table: 64 Gadolinium

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Periodic Table: 64 Gadolinium

First | Previous | 2019-09-30 | Next | Latest

Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/dinosaur/?comic=822

Strip by: David Morgan-Mar

T-Rex: T-Rex presents the Periodic Table:
T-Rex: Only the second element named after a person: Johan Gadolin, a Finnish chemist. It's magnetocaloric: it heats up when entering a magnetic field and cools down when leaving one.
Utahraptor: Of the 19 elements named after people, only 1 ½ are named for women!
Utahraptor: It'd be wonderful to have more elements named after a woman.
T-Rex: Henceforth element 64 shall be called: GAL-GADOTLINIUM!

The author writes:

Johan Gadolin gave his name to the mineral gadolinite, which turned out to contain the earliest detected traces of gadolinium, which was then named after the mineral (so after Gadolin by one step removed, similar to samarium).

Magnetocalorism is fascinating. When you push gadolinium into a magnetic field, it heats up, and when you pull it out it cools back down. But if you leave it in the magnetic field for a while, it will cool down to the ambient temperature, and if you pull it out then, it will cool down lower than the ambient temperature. This is used in magnetic refrigeration, where progressive cycles of cooling can reach temperatures as low as 1 millikelvin.

That's pretty cool!