Author: Jan Scholten
Gallium is a new remedy.
The name has been derived from Gallia, France, because it was discovered by a Frenchman called Francois Lecoq in 1875. The Latin name for ‘coq’ or cockerel is Gallus gallus, which could have been another reason for calling this newly discovered metal Gallium.
The metal is soft, silvery white with a blue sheen. It has a relatively low melting point (29,8C) and a high boiling point (> 2000 C), which gives it the longest liquid phase of all elements. It is used in thermometers because it expands on being heated. It is also used in various alloys to lower the overall melting point. It is a semiconductor used in electronics and solar cells. It also gets used as a catalyst in organic chemistry.