Definition of gallium
: a bluish-white metallic element obtained especially as a by-product in refining various ores and used especially in semiconductors and optoelectronic devices — see element table
Recent Examples of gallium from the Web
One possibility is Aixtron’s leading position making technology that creates chips based on an advanced semiconductor material called gallium nitride.
The would-be investor in Lumileds, GSR Ventures, also holds a stake in Lattice Power, a Chinese company that has been vocal about its efforts to develop technology related to gallium nitride and silicon.
A second contract, this one with Darpa, involves developing gallium nitride (GaN) as a semiconductor for missile defense radars.
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Origin and Etymology of gallium
borrowed from New Latin, from Gallia “Gaul, France” (going back to Latin) + -ium -ium ◆The element was named by the first person to isolate it, the French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912), reported in “Caractères chimiques et spectroscopiques d'un nouveau métal, le Gallium, découvert dns une blende de la mine de Pierrefitte, vallée d'Argelès,” Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des Sciences, tome 81 (juillet-décembre 1875), pp. 493-95. In a later publication, Lecoq de Boisbaudran explained the origin of the name: “ … j'ai aperçu les premiers indices de l'existence d'un nouvel élément, que j'ai nommé «gallium» en l'honneur de la France (Gallia)” (“ … I perceived the first signs of the existence of a new element, which I named “gallium” in honor of France (Gallia)”) (“Sur un nouveau métal, le gallium,” Annales de chimie et de physique, 5. série, tome 10 , p. 103). The later hypothesis that gallium was formed from Latin gallus “cock,” as a translation of the chemist's surname “Lecoq,” is without apparent foundation. (Though the evidence is clear, there is on the other hand no indication that Lecoq de Boisbaudran ever explicitly denied the association.)
First Known Use: 1875See Words from the same year
Medical Definition of gallium
: a rare bluish white metallic element that is hard and brittle at low temperatures but melts just above room temperature and expands on freezing and that is used in the form of its hydrated nitrate salt Ga(NO3)3·9H2O to treat hypercalcemia caused by certain cancers—symbol Ga; see element table
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