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Charles Hatchett

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Charles Hatchett
Charles Hatchett

Charles Hatchett (February 1, 1765 - October 3, 1847) was an English chemist who discovered the element niobium.

Columbite

In 1801 while working for the British Museum in London he analyzed a piece of columbite in the museum's collection. Columbite turned out to be a very complex mineral, but Hachett discovered that it contained a "new earth" which implied the existence of a new element. Hatchett called this element columbium (Cb). On November 26th of that year he announced his discovery of columbium before the Royal Society.

The element was later rediscovered and renamed as current niobium (the current name). Later in life he quit his job as a chemist in order to devote his full time to making money by working at his family's coach fabrication business.

Award

The Institute of Materials (London) has been awarding the Charles Hatchett Award yearly to noted chemists since 1979. The award is given to the "author of the best paper on the science and technology of niobium and its alloys."

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