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bluish-white metal, 1822, discovered 1817 by German scientist Friedrich Strohmeyer, coined in Modern Latin from cadmia, a word used by ancient naturalists for various earths and oxides (especially zinc carbonate), from Greek kadmeia (ge) "Cadmean (earth)," from Kadmos "Cadmus," legendary founder of Boeotian Thebes. So called because the earth was first found in the vicinity of Thebes (Kadmeioi was an alternative name for "Thebans" since the time of Homer).
cadmium cad·mi·um (kād'mē-əm)
A soft metallic element occurring primarily in zinc, copper, and lead ores that is used in low-friction fatigue-resistant alloys, solders, batteries, nuclear reactor shields, and electroplating. Atomic number 48; atomic weight 112.41; melting point 321.7°C; boiling point 767°C; specific gravity 8.65; valence 2.
A rare, soft, bluish-white metallic element that occurs mainly in zinc, copper, and lead ores. Cadmium is plated onto other metals and alloys to prevent corrosion, and it is used in rechargeable batteries and in nuclear control rods as a neutron absorber. Atomic number 48; atomic weight 112.41; melting point 320.9°C; boiling point 765°C; specific gravity 8.65; valence 2. See Periodic Table.