Polonium

Sue Mertz

Discovered in 1898 by Pierre and Marie Curie and named after Poland. It had no known uses. Obtained from pitchblende, decay of radium. Pl;utonium became famous in 2006 when it was used to induce acute radiation sickness in Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB and KGB.  According to his doctors, Litvinenko’s murder marked the beginning of an era of nuclear terrorism.

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Tellurium

by Tricia Coulson

TE 52 It was discovered in 1782 by Franz Muller von Reichenstein. The name originated from the Greek word tellus meaning earth.  It is found in certain plants such as garlic and overexposure to tellurium results in garlic breath. This work is pieced with several black and white fabrics, then discharged and over dyed.

Germanium

atomic model of Germanium

Germanium was discovered in 1886 and is obtained by refining copper, zinc or lead. It is used for making transistors for use in electronic devices and is also used in infrared optical instruments and infrared detectors. Germanium compounds are currently being studied for use in chemotherapy.

Detail showing the diodes attached, which are made with Germanium:

Antimony

Antimony (Sb) – #51

By Karla Rose Hanson

When this metal is added to lead and tin, it creates an alloy that can be poured into molds to create crisp, hard, reusable letter forms for printing – a little invention that Johann Gutenberg liked to call movable type. I created this piece by doing a rubbing of my children’s wooden blocks with Shiva paintstiks to look like lines of type and using some fabrics with a metallic feel.

Silicon

Silicon makes up 27% of the earth’s crust. We find lots of uses for it, but what intrigued me is what diatoms do with it.

Diatoms are single-celled algae, part of the oceans’ collection of plankton. They make a cell wall (called a frustule) from hydrated silicon dioxide. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 species of diatoms in both salt and fresh water.

My quilt depicts two diatoms: a small one that I discharged with bleach, and a larger one that is completely embroidered.

More embroidery than I ever want to do again!

diatoms