Yesterday marked Robert Bunsen’s 200th birthday.
Bunsen’s best work came in the 1860s, when he discovered two new elements. Cesium — atomic number 55 — now plays an essential role in atomic clocks. Rubidium — atomic number 35 — is one of the ways to create purple fireworks. Both elements live on the far left side of the periodic table. His team named them after the Latin words caesius (sky blue) and rubidus (dark red). [Source: CSM]
See the animated doodle in action:
Bunsen made becoming a high school chemistry teacher cool. (Mine, Mr. Mohl, would blow stuff up every day, with a continual flow of natural gas running through the burner.)