Aluminium or Aluminum

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Aluminium or Aluminum, why the difference?.

Every time I have something to do with Aluminium, I always wonder, why the Americans call it Aluminum. It sounds so very different when said without the second letter i.


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Well, it appears it was first named Aluminum, but changed very quickly to Aluminium to be consistent with other elemental names ending with ium.

However, the American Chemical Society, in 1925 decided to revert back to Aluminum.  (this bit I haven’t found a good logical reason for yet)

Looking at the Periodic Table of Elements that end with ‘ium’ or just ‘um’ without the i, there is a marked difference in numbers, but I then wonder why.

um, no i:

lanthanum, molybdenum, platinum


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ium:

actinium, aluminium, americium, barium, beryllium, bohrium, berkelium, calcium, cadmium, cerium, californium, curium, chromium, caesium, dubnium, darmstadtium, dysprosium, erbium, einsteinium, europium, fermium, francium, gallium, gadolinium, germanium, helium, hafnium, holmium, hassium, indium, iridium, potassium, lithium, lawrencium, lutetium, mendelevium, magnesium, meitnerium, sodium, niobium, neodymium, nobelium, neptunium, osmium, protactinium, palladium, promethium, polonium, praseodymium, plutonium, radium, rubidium, rhenium, rutherfordium, roentgenium, rhodium, ruthenium, scandium, selenium, seaborgium, samarium, strontium, terbium, technetium, tellurium, thorium, titanium, thallium, thulium, uranium, vanadium, yttrium, ytterbium, zirconium

History of Aluminium

  • 1808 Sir Humphry Davy, an English born chemist, identified the existence of aluminium and also discovered and named sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, barium, etc.
  • 1825 Hans Christian Oersted isolated an impure form of aluminium.
  • 1827 Friedrich Wöhler isolated pure aluminium.

Aluminium is non-magnetic, which is what I was looking into when I began to get interested in this topic.

Atomic Number: 13
Electron Configuration: 1s22s22p63s23p1
That must mean something to someone… 😉


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