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It's elemental: Paper in prestigious international journal celebrates discovery of iodine

It's elemental: Paper in prestigious international journal celebrates discovery of iodine

It's not every day that an element gets to celebrate a bicentennial, and a University of Delaware professor is pleased to have been invited to the "birthday party" for iodine, which was discovered in 1811.

George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor at UD, is one of 11 internationally recognized co-authors on a paper commemorating 200 years of iodine research. The paper appeared on Friday, Dec. 2, in Angewandte Chemie, one of the prime chemistry journals in the world.

Most of us think of iodine as a liquid that comes in a little brown bottle to help heal cuts or as something that gets mixed in with table salt to prevent goiter. But the element that appears as number 53 in the periodic table was actually discovered during the Napoleonic Wars when French chemist Bernard Courtois was searching for an alternative to wood ashes as a feedstock for the production of saltpeter. Today, iodine has applications ranging from pharmaceuticals to semiconductors. (full article)