(Sp. platina, silver) Discovered in South America by Ulloa in 1735 and by Wood in 1741.The metal was used by pre-Columbian Indians.
Platinum occurs native, accompanied by small quantities of iridium, osmium, palladium,ruthenium, and rhodium, all belonging to the same group of metals. These are found in thealluvial deposits of the Ural mountains, of Columbia, and of certain western Americanstates. Sperrylite, occurring with the nickel-bearing deposits of Sudbury, Ontario, is thesource of a considerable amount of metal.
The large production of nickel makes up for the fact that is only one part of theplatinum metals in two million parts of ore.
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'The strength and weakness of physicists is that we believe in what we can measure. And if we can't measure it, then we say it probably doesn't exist. And that closes us off to an enormous amount of phenomena that we may not be able to measure because they only happened once. For example, the Big Bang. ... That's one reason why they scoffed at higher dimensions for so many years. Now we realize that there's no alternative... '