Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rare metallic element that is liquid near room temperature, expands on solidifying, and is found as a trace element in coal, bauxite, and other minerals. It is used in semiconductor technology and as a component of various low-melting alloys. Atomic number 31; atomic weight 69.72; melting point 29.78°C; boiling point 2,403°C; specific gravity 5.907; valence 2, 3. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chemical element (symbol Ga) with an atomic number of 31; a soft bluish metal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rare metallic element, found combined in certain zinc ores. It is white, hard, and malleable, resembling aluminium, and remarkable for its low melting point (86° F., 30° C.). Symbol, Ga; at. wt., 69.9. Gallium is chiefly trivalent, resembling aluminium and indium. It was predicted with most of its properties, under the name eka-aluminium, by the Russian chemist Mendelyeev on the basis of the periodic law. This prediction was verified in its discovery (in 1875) by the French chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran by its characteristic spectrum (two violet lines), in an examination of a zinc blende from the Pyrenees.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Chemical symbol, Ga; specific gravity, 5.935. A rare malleable metal, discovered by means of spectrum analysis in 1875 by M. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in the zinc-blende of Pierrefitte in the Pyrenees.
  • n. The discovery of this chemical element was peculiarly interesting, as furnishing striking evidence of the soundness of the theoretical views, as to the relations of the elements, which led Mendeléjeff in 1869 to predict the existence of such a substance and give a description of the properties it would be found to exhibit: his prediction required scarcely any correction when the element was actually discovered.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element; brittle at low temperatures but liquid above room temperature; occurs in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores

Etymologies

From Latin gallus, cock, punning translation of surname of Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912), French chemist and element's discoverer : French le, the + French coq, rooster.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Named by its discoverer Lecoq, after Latin Gallia ("Gaul"). It was claimed that Lecoq had named the element after himself, since gallus is the Latin translation of the French le coq, but Lecoq denied this in an article of 1877. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One theory says that the name gallium comes from the Latin word for France, Gallia.

    Gallium

  • The supply of gallium is predicted to be gone by 2017, based on current and future projections of usage.

    Lighting the Big Apple With L.E.D.’s - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • I was also familiar with the cutting-edge work in gallium arsenide heterostructures being done at the time through seminars and informal conversations with Mike Schlüter, who was good friends with

    Robert B. Laughlin - Autobiography

  • Most companies fabricate the chips by laying down a material called gallium nitride on wafers of sapphire or silicon carbide.

    The Quest for Cheaper, Better Lights

  • Combining a compound known as a gallium corrole with a protein carrier results in a targeted cancer ...

    THE MEDICAL NEWS

  • Cambridge's new 100,000 hour, mercury-free LED bulb uses a man-made semiconductor called gallium nitride that is grown on a cheap silicon wafer.

    Green Options

  • This means that we can produce nanowires that contain two different semiconductors, namely gallium indium arsenide and indium arsenide.

    R&D Mag - News

  • Many optical components are typically constructed using materials such as gallium arsenide and indium phosphide.

    IBM Claims Breakthrough in Laser-Based Chips

  • While lasers are attractive, the materials that are used in lasers currently - such as gallium arsenide - can be difficult to integrate into fabs.

    Wired Top Stories

  • In photodiodes inorganic semiconductors such as gallium phosphide are traditionally used, but now one can also use semiconductive polymers.

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000 - Information for the Public

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Comments

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  • It sounds more fun than the mercury we all played with as kids before we saw the shadow demonstration of the fumes rising up.

    September 28, 2010

  • How galling?

    September 28, 2010

  • It looks almost too good to be true--I loved playing with mercury in school.

    September 28, 2010

  • Ga.

    December 16, 2007