Sulfur

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Sulfur crystals.
Sulfur or sulphur
Name Sulfur or sulphur
Symbol S
Atomic number 16
Atomic mass 32.1 amu
Classification Non-metal
Crystal structure Orthorhombic
Color Yellow
Date of discovery Known from ancient times
Name origin From the Latin word sulphurium (brimstone)
Uses Matches, gunpowder, medicines
Obtained from Naturally

Sulfur is the 16th element of the periodic table. It is a solid nonmetal that makes up part of the Earth's crust, and is a part of gunpowder and batteries.

The name comes from the Latin word sulphurium, which means brimstone [1]. 'Brimstone' is an ancient word for sulfur (it is often found round the rim of volcanic vents), and occurs in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In Genesis 19, God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah with 'fire and brimstone', and brimstone has traditionally been associated with Hell and the Devil.

Elemental yellow sulfur itself is almost odorless, but many sulfur compounds have strong odors. Hydrogen sulfide has the offensive odor of rotten eggs. The mercaptan family of compounds that give skunks their odor, and which are deliberately added to natural gas because they can be detected in extremely low concentrations, are organic sulfur compounds, as is the compounds that give garlic and onions their smell.

Gallery

References

  1. http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/S.html
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