Most people probably know that Calcium is part of the Periodic Table of the Elements with the other crucial substances. Perhaps, they also know other things about calcium such as: The atomic number is twenty, the symbol used in the table is Ca, and its atomic weight is at 40.078. But if someone would ask who discovered calcium, not many people would immediately have the answer for that.
The Existence of Calcium Way Back Then
According to history, calcium was already known during the early times – particularly, during the first century when Ancient Romans roamed and lived in the land. It was considered then as a particular component in the preparation of lime as an element called as calcium oxide.
In those days, lime was called as calx.
The Isolation Process and the Discovery of Calcium
It was only during the year of 1808 did calcium get isolated and taken as a particular element in itself. And the person who discovered calcium was Englishman Sir Humphrey Davy. Davy was able to discover or, in effect, isolated this metallic element by combining mercuric oxide and lime and preparing the electrolysis of this combination. The temperature of the electrolysis of the mixture was done just a bit above the melting point.
This experiment was earlier influenced by the experiments done by Pontin and Berzelius. These two had a successful attempt in the preparation of calcium amalgam through the electrolyzing process of the lime substance in the substance of mercury.
Learning about this success, Davy also made an attempt. And it was also a success, and led to the isolation or discovery of this soft and grayish element known as calcium.
Through Davy’s life, this scientist was known to have a thorough knowledge in the process of electrolyzing substances and was actually the person who discovered or isolated other substances such as barium, magnesium, and strontium.
The Properties of Calcium
Calcium is classified as an alkaline earth metal that is a bit hard and is silvery white in color. Its melting point is around 839 +/-2 degrees C and boiling point is around 1484 degrees C. Its specification for gravity is at 1.55 or is equivalent to twenty degrees C, and its valence is two.
Its Many Uses
Calcium is also known to be in abundance, and is a crucial requirement for the nutrition of people. Even animals need this element since their skeletons need calcium phosphate.
But not only people and animals thrive on this element. Calcium is also very important for the growth and development of plants. It is also used in other metal preparations serving as a reducing agent, a decarbonizer, or as a scavenger.
Fortunately, there was a person who discovered calcium, or, rather, had thought of separating this as an individual metallic element to further discover its various uses and components because now we know more about calcium and its value to people, animals, plants, and other elements.