Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why Tungsten?

Tungsten is an element. Of all the elements on the periodic table, it is -- for our money (not that we have much) -- the most fun to say. Try it: "Tungsten." See?

Tungsten is represented on the periodic table by the letter W -- a nickname shared by a certain Decider of whom we know, who was not a factor in our naming process. W is by far the most fun letter of the alphabet to pronounce. Some people in W the Decider's country pronounce it like this: Duba-ya. Saying that is almost as much fun as saying double-you, which is how normal people pronounce it.

Tungsten is also represented by the atomic numer 74. Which, if your lucky numbers are seven and four -- and whose aren't? Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr, anyone? -- is kind of neat.

Tungsten was once known as Wolfram. We like to think of it as the Howlin' Wolf of the elemental world.

Among the many notable properties of Tungsten, perhaps the coolest is that it has the highest melting point of any non-alloy.

Tungsten is used to make many things (among them Superalloys and the target in X-ray tubes), but perhaps its most famous use is in the filaments of lightbulbs, which are the common symbol for an idea.

So: Why not Tungsten? You get the idea.

(Please note that the source of most of our information about Tungsten is the occassionally unreliable yet very handy Wikipedia.)


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