How did calcium get its name?
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How did calcium get its name?

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Quick Answer

The term Calcium is based on the Latin words "calx" and "calcis," meaning "lime." The ancient Romans were known to make lime from limestone or calcium carbonate, a naturally occurring compound found in Earth's crust.

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Full Answer

Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, comprising 3.5 percent of its total volume. Calcium can be found in a number of naturally occurring compounds such as chalk, marble and gypsum. Roman concrete was invented by mixing lime with volcanic ash and rock. The Roman Colosseum is one example of what can be made with the many forms of Calcium that exist.

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    The word "lithium" is derived from the Greek word for stone, "lithos", because it was first discovered in stone. Lithium is one of several alkali metals discovered and named in the early 1800s. The other two, sodium and potassium were also named after the materials that were being studied when they were discovered.

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    According to the Random House Dictionary, the word Zinc likely comes from the German word "zinke," which means prong or tine, and may refer to the jagged form it takes when in a furnace. The name was probably first used by the German chemist Paracelsus in the 16th century.

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