Which Elements Are Named After Countries?

Elements that are named after countries are Francium, Gallium and Germanium. Gallium is one of the few metals besides mercury and cesium that is a liquid at room temperature. It was named after the Latin word for France, “Gallia.”

Gallium’s atomic number is 31, and when it is especially pure, it has a brilliant silver sheen. It doesn’t occur freely in nature but is found in ores of zinc and bauxite. Its melting point is so low, about 85.6 degrees Fahrenheit, that it melts in a person’s hand. It also alloys with most metals. Gallium is mostly used in electronics, LEDs and high-temperature thermometers.

Francium was also named for France. It is also one of the few elements to have been discovered by a woman. It was discovered by Marguerite Perey in 1939. Francium is formed by the breakdown of actinium and has an atomic number of 87. It is very radioactive and can itself break down into astatine, radium and radon.

Germanium is considered a semi-metal. Its atomic number is 32, and it was named after the country of Germany. It was discovered by Clemens Winkler in 1886 and is largely used for semiconductors and also in infrared instruments.