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STEM corner - Story of metals

By The Assam Tribune
STEM corner - Story of metals
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Dinesh Lahoti

Founder, Edugenie

[email protected]

This section will carry everything related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Humans were already using fire by the time metals were discovered. Apart from cooking and keeping away predators, fire was also used to bake clay. One day, a potter decorated a pot with a few green pebbles before inserting it in the kiln. On removing the pot from the kiln, something remarkable happened – the pebbles had melted and they were shining! The decorative stones were actually metallic ores which had been converted to metal.

Any naturally occurring substance is called mineral. Minerals which are rich in a particular metal are called ores of that metal. Metals have changed civilisations, funded empires, and even expanded our horizon to space. Gold, copper, and silver were among the first metals discovered and used. Not all metals are equally reactive. But, some metals are so reactive that mere exposure to air or water can cause an explosion. Those metals which are more stable can be found in Nature in a relatively pure state. Hence, they got discovered quite early. Iron is the most important metal in all civilisations. Believed to be a blessed metal, iron was commonly used to create tools.

Most of the metallic structures that we see around us today are not pure metals. Rather, they are called alloys. Among these, the oldest one known to us is bronze. Aluminium, which is 1,200 times more abundant than copper, was discovered much later in 1827. Technological advancement played a major role in the metal extraction process. It is worth noting gold’s prominence throughout history. The two largest deposits of gold are in India and Africa. Gold, silver, and platinum are high in cost due to their limited availability. Although metals can be found in various quantities, their extraction is not always easy or profitable.

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STEM corner - Story of metals

Dinesh Lahoti

Founder, Edugenie

[email protected]

This section will carry everything related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Humans were already using fire by the time metals were discovered. Apart from cooking and keeping away predators, fire was also used to bake clay. One day, a potter decorated a pot with a few green pebbles before inserting it in the kiln. On removing the pot from the kiln, something remarkable happened – the pebbles had melted and they were shining! The decorative stones were actually metallic ores which had been converted to metal.

Any naturally occurring substance is called mineral. Minerals which are rich in a particular metal are called ores of that metal. Metals have changed civilisations, funded empires, and even expanded our horizon to space. Gold, copper, and silver were among the first metals discovered and used. Not all metals are equally reactive. But, some metals are so reactive that mere exposure to air or water can cause an explosion. Those metals which are more stable can be found in Nature in a relatively pure state. Hence, they got discovered quite early. Iron is the most important metal in all civilisations. Believed to be a blessed metal, iron was commonly used to create tools.

Most of the metallic structures that we see around us today are not pure metals. Rather, they are called alloys. Among these, the oldest one known to us is bronze. Aluminium, which is 1,200 times more abundant than copper, was discovered much later in 1827. Technological advancement played a major role in the metal extraction process. It is worth noting gold’s prominence throughout history. The two largest deposits of gold are in India and Africa. Gold, silver, and platinum are high in cost due to their limited availability. Although metals can be found in various quantities, their extraction is not always easy or profitable.

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