If you are a chem student looking for info and have no time for fun, link here to my Cobalt info page.
Though it was used in Persia to color glass as far back as 2250 B.C., Cobalt was not known to the Western world until the 15th century. Miners in Germany at the time thought it was silver and melted it down. Rarely found in pure form in nature, this batch was combined with Arsenic. When melted, it released a poisonous gas, and many miners were killed. From this, the element gained its name for the German "kobold," a mythical demon that was believed to live in mines and steal the precious gems there. The name Kobold was later changed by puritans to the more familiar "goblin."
Today, Cobalt continues to live up to its demonic name. Found in beta carotine, it can be important to ones health, but if consumed in large amounts, it can cause nausea, nosebleeds, convulsions, and even death. Cobalt 60, the highly radioactive isotope of Cobalt, is created during the explosion of Hydrogen bombs, when the Cobalt 59 in the bomb is bombarded with neutrons. This isotope contributes greatly to the amount of nuclear fallout after detonation. In addition, a particularly fast and aggressive tarantula is the cobalt blue tarantula.
This is not to suggest that Cobalt does not have a positive side. It has many uses. It is used to create magnets and forms strong alloys with other metals. These alloys are used in cutting tools, engine valves, and gas turbines. Cobalt is best known for its intensely colored dyes, especially red (which is used in hair dyes) and blue. "Cobalt blue" is popularly used in glassware, especially during the art deco period.
Cobalt has come to mean far more than just the 27th element on the periodic table. Cobalt is the name of a small mining town in Ontario, Canada (from which the mural on the left is taken), and a city in Idaho. It is also the name of an upscale resort for gay men in palm springs.
There is even a credit card named for Cobalt!
Some bands have also taken the name cobalt, including Cobalt 60 an industrial (read: really weird music) rock band, and Cobalt Blue, a blues band.
You can link to their music here:
Cobalt Blue: http://www.thegrid.net/themadottr/Co.html
Cobalt60: http://www.front242.com/cobalt60 *
*note: sometimes this site works, and sometimes it doesn't
Hey, so that's the wonderful world of Cobalt. If you have any comments on my page, or if you are Taye Diggs,