Ferdinand Reich

February 19th 1799 - April 27th 1882

Reich, who was born at Bernburg in Germany, studied at the University of Gottingen and taught at the Freiberg Mining Academy. In 1863 he obtained a yellow precipitate from some local zinc ores. Convinced that it contained a new element he asked his assistant Hieronymus Richter to examine it spectroscopically (he himself was colour blind). Richter found a new line in the dark blue region that confirmed Reich's original conviction; the new element was named 'indium' after the bright indigo line characteristic of its spectrum.

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