One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical element of atomic number 77, a hard, dense silvery-white metal.
- ‘Jewellery made of platinum, iridium and palladium gleamed majestically, now and then emitting flashes of brilliant light from the studded diamonds.’
- ‘The new electrochemical system is based on a magnesium anode, a seawater/catholyte electrolyte and an electrocatalyst of palladium and iridium catalyzed on carbon paper.’
- ‘The earth's crust is depleted in iridium and other platinum group elements, while meteorites are enriched in them.’
- ‘They found the rare element iridium in the thin clay layer that caps the rocks of the Cretaceous era.’
- ‘Previously, it was thought that any asteroid or comet collision would leave strong evidence of the element iridium, the signal found in the sedimentary layer from the time of the dinosaur extinction.’
Early 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin iris, irid- ‘rainbow’ (so named because it forms compounds of various colours).
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