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A Brief History of Copper
(Released October 2005)

  by Marianne Stanczak  


Key Citations

Web Sites




alchemy: medieval form a chemistry thought to transmute metals such as lead and copper into gold

annealing: heating then cooling gradually to toughen or release stress

azurite: a blue copper mineral; hydrous copper carbonate; Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2

chalcopyrite: copper iron sulfide; CuFeS2

depletion gilding: the removal of extraneous metals from the golden surface layer so that it appears to be "more golden"

electrolysis: separation of components via electrolytic current; non-spontaneous chemical reaction

flash smelting: a more energy efficient method of smelting using a large amount of heat and combining smelting, roasting and "partial converting" all in one.

hydrometallurgy: metal extraction using water

investment casting: a casting process using molds that are destroyed at some point during the casting process

leaching: extracting soluble components using dissolution

lost wax process: investment casting using a wax pattern/mold

malachite: a green copper mineral; basic copper carbonate; Cu2CO3(OH)2

phytoarchaeology: the study of uncovering archaeological sites by studying the vegetation in the area

powder metallurgy: processes that produce metal in powder form

smelting: fusing or melting to separate metal from ore

speiss: arsenide and antimonide byproducts of smelting metal ores

superconducting material: a material that loses electrical resistance when cooled to a certain temperature

tempering: reheating hardened metal to decrease hardness and/or increase toughness