<chemistry> A rare metallic element, of the same group as platinum, which it much resembles, being silver-white, but harder, and brittle, and indifferent to most corrosive agents. With the exception of osmium, it is the heaviest substance known, its specific gravity being 22.4.
Iridium usually occurs as a native alloy with osmium (iridosmine or osmiridium), which may occur alone or with platinum. Iridium, as an alloy with platinum, is used in bushing the vents of heavy ordnance. It is also used for the points of gold pens, and in a finely powdered condition (iridium black), for painting porcelain black.
Atomic weight: 192.5
Origin: NL, fr. L. Iris, iridis, the rainbow. So called from the iridescence of some of its solutions. See Iris.
(30 Mar 1998)
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