Which Element Was Initially Called Wolfram?

The element tungsten was originally called wolfram. Tungsten was originally discovered and named by Swedish scientist Peter Woulfe who classified the novel substance as wolframite. However, the element was found to have variable properties, which led to its renaming and classification as tungsten in 1783 by Spanish scientists Juan Jose and Fausto d’Elhuyar.

Tungsten naturally consists of five stable isotopes and has a dozen known associated isotopes too. Tungsten has a relatively high melting point and specific gravity along with a valence that ranges between two and six. It is steel gray to slightly off white in appearance and varies in composition depending on its purity. Impure tungsten is relatively fragile and brittle, while pure tungsten is soft and flexible and can be dissected with a sharp object, such as a saw or an axe.

Tungsten has one of the lowest vapor pressures of all metals and has a high tensile strength. This element has physical and chemical properties that allow it to expand and contract without losing shape, which makes it a common material in glass items and certain metallic objects as well. Tungsten, along with its alloys, is used to make filaments for electric lamps and television tubes as well as steel, paints and lubricants.