American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A soft, malleable, highly toxic metallic element, used in photocells, infrared detectors, low-melting glass, and formerly in rodent and ant poisons. Atomic number 81; atomic weight 204.38; melting point 303.5°C; boiling point 1,457°C; specific gravity 11.85; valence 1, 3. See Table at element.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Chemical symbol, Tl; atomic weight, 204.2. A rare metal which was discovered in the residuum left from the distillation of selenium by Crookes, in 1861, and was first supposed to contain tellurium, but afterward proved, by the aid of the spectroscope, to be new. Thallium as prepared artificially has a bluish- white tint and the luster of lead. It is malleable, and so soft that it can be scratched with the finger-nail. Its specific gravity is 11.8. Thallium is somewhat widely distributed, but never occurs in large quantities. The rare mineral called
crookesite, found in Sweden, is an alloy of thallium, selenium, and copper, with a little silver. Thallium seems to be present in both iron and copper pyrites from various localities, and it is from the fiue-dust from sulphuric-acid works in which pyrites is burned that the metal is chiefly obtained. Thallium is chemically classed with the metals of the lead group, but its reactions are in certain respects very peculiar and exceptional. It has been employed in the manufacture of glass, and is said to furnish a glass of extraordinary brilliancy and high refractive power.
- n. A metallic chemical element (symbol Tl) with atomic number 81.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Chem.) A rare metallic element of the aluminium group found in some minerals, as certain pyrites, and also in the lead-chamber deposit in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. It is isolated as a heavy, soft, bluish white metal, easily oxidized in moist air, but preserved by keeping under water. Symbol Tl. Atomic weight 203.7.
- n. a soft grey malleable metallic element that resembles tin but discolors on exposure to air; it is highly toxic and is used in rodent and insect poisons; occurs in zinc blende and some iron ores
- Coined based on Ancient Greek θαλλός (thallos, "green branch") (after the color of the radiation spectra). (Wiktionary)
- thall(o)- (from its green spectral line) + -ium. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The name thallium comes from the Greek word thallios which means a green twig, which is a reference to this green line.”
“JOHN HENRY, CLINICAL TOXICOLOGIST: You could call thallium poisoning chemical torture.”
“Her son, Sipho, was poisoned with a rare substance called thallium, while in detention with a friend, Topsy”
“Doctors at Groote Schuur hospital discovered he had been poisoned with a rare substance known as thallium, which left him seriously ill and confined to a wheelchair.”
“Separated U-233 is always contaminated with traces of 232U (69 year half life but whose daughter products such as thallium-208 are strong gamma emitters with very short half lives);”
“Unfortunately the addition of lead or other heavy metals (such as thallium) makes the product very soft and also very subject to attack by gases such as are always present in the atmosphere of cities.”
“So thus we launched a broad based educational effort to highlight opportunities for providing imaging solutions to patients using alternatives, such as thallium where appropriate.”
“a 2006 paper published by other researchers in the journal Physical Review Letters, . . . suggested that elements such as thallium and tellurium could interact on a quantum-mechanical level to create a resonance between the thallium electrons and those in the host lead telluride thermoelectric material, depending on the bonds between the atoms.”
“Separated U-233 is always contaminated with traces of U-232 (69 year half life but whose daughter products such as thallium-208 are strong gamma emitters with very short half lives); the similar problems in recycling thorium itself due to highly radioactive Th-228 (an alpha emitter with two-year half life) present; some weapons proliferation risk of U-233 (if it could be separated on its own); and the technical problems (not yet satisfactorily solved) in reprocessing solid fuels.”
“Coal waste contains heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, thallium and arsenic, which can cause birth defects and nervous - and reproductive-system disorders.”
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It's a hazardous world out there...poison all around. I've tried not to include too many drugs (including medicines) and have ignored the fact that too much of anything can poison you. We're going ...
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