History of the atom nickel

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Name: nickel

Symbol: Ni

Atomic number: 28

Atomic weight: 58.6934 (2)

Minerals containing nickel were of value for colouring glass green. The mineral used for colouring glass was called kupfernickel (false copper). Nickel was discovered by Baron Axel Frederik Cronstedt in 1751 in a mineral called niccolite. Apparently, he had expected to extract copper from this mineral but got none at all, obtaining instead a white metal that he called nickel after the mineral from which it was extracted.

Discovered by:

Axel Fredrik Cronstedt

Discovered at:


Discovered when:


Origin of name:

From the German word "kupfernickel" meaning Devil's copper or St Nicholas's (OLd Nick's) copper


NiF2: nickel (II) fluoride


NiCl2.6H2O: nickel (II) chloride 6-water

NiCl2: nickel (II) chloride


NiBr2: nickel (II) bromide


NiI2: nickel (II) iodide


NiO: nickel (II) oxide

Ni2O3: nickel (III) oxide


NiS: nickel (II) sulphide

NiS2: nickel disulphide

Ni3S2: nickel sulphide


NiSe: nickel (II) selenide

Ground state electron configuration: [Ar].3d8.4s2

Shell structure:

Term symbol: 3F4

Melting point [/K]: 1728 [or 1455 °C (2651 °F)]

Boiling point [/K]: 3186 [or 2913 °C (5275 °F)] (liquid range: 1458 K)

Density of solid [/kg m-3]: 8908

Year Scientist(s) Discovery


era Democritus

"by convention bitter, by convention sweet, but in reality atoms and void"

1704 Isaac Newton

Proposed a mechanical universe with small solid masses in motion.

1803 John Dalton

Proposed an "atomic theory" with spherical solid atoms based upon measurable properties of mass.

1832 Michael Faraday

Studied the effect of electricity on solutions, coined term "electrolysis" as a splitting of molecules with electricity, developed laws of electrolysis. Faraday himself was not a proponent of atomism.

1859 J. Plucker Built one of the first gas discharge tubes ("cathode ray tube").

1869 Dmitri Mendeleev

Arranged elements into 7 groups...