Smithson Tennant

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tennant, Smithson


Born Nov. 30, 1761, in Selby, Yorkshire; died Feb. 22,1815, in Boulogne, France. English chemist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1785).

Tennant received the degree of doctor of medicine in 1796. He became a professor at Cambridge University in 1813. By oxidizing identical quantities of diamond, graphite, and charcoal with saltpeter, Tennant established (1797) that these substances yield equal quantities of carbon dioxide gas and therefore have an identical chemical makeup. In 1804 he discovered osmium and iridium.


“On Two Metals (Osmium and Iridium) Found in the Black Powder Remaining After the Solution of Platina.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1804, p. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Webster's New World Dictionary of Science (1998, Helicon), osmium's discoverer, Smithson Tennant, named the element "after the irritating smell of one of its oxides."--P.
Prominent collections represented in the plates include those of William Babington (1757-1833), William Wollaston (1766-1828), Henry Brooke (1771-1857), Smithson Tennant (1761-1815), the Count de Bournon (1751-1825), John Henry Heuland (1778-1856), Adolarius Jacob Forster (1739-1806) and Friedrich Stromeyer (1776-1835), all of whom later had minerals named in their honor.

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