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[link] lists the derivation of the names of the Group 13 (IIIA) elements.

Derivation of the names of each of the alkali metal elements.
Element Symbol Name
Boron B From the Arabic word buraq or the Persian word burah for the mineral borax
Aluminium (Aluminum) Al From alum
Gallium Ga From Named after the Latin word for France (Gaul) Gallia
Indium In Latin rubidus meaning deepest red
Thalium Tl From the Latin thallus meaning sprouting green twig
Aluminium is the international spelling standardized by the IUPAC, but in the United States it is more commonly spelled as aluminum.

Discovery

Boron

Borax (a mixture of Na 2 B 4 O 7 .4H 2 O and Na 2 B 4 O 7 .10H 2 O) was known for thousands of years. In Tibet it was known by the Sanskrit name of tincal . Borax glazes were used in China in 300 AD, and the writings of the Arabic alchemist Geber ( [link] ) appear to mention it in 700 AD. However, it is known that Marco Polo brought some borax glazes back to Italy in the 13th century. In 1600 Agricola ( [link] ) in his treatise De Re Metallica reported the use of borax as a flux in metallurgy.

A drawing of the father of chemistry Abu Musa Jābir ibn Hayyān al azdi known by Geber; the Latinized form of Jabir (721 - 815). Geber was a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geologist, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician.
A painting of German author Georg Bauer (1494 - 1555), whose pen-name was the Latinized Georgius Agricola, was most probably the first person to be environmentally conscious.

Boron was not recognized as an element until its isolation by Sir Humphry Davy ( [link] ), Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac ( [link] ) and Louis Jacques Thénard ( [link] ) in 1808 through the reaction of boric acid and potassium. Davy called the element boracium . Jöns Jakob Berzelius ( [link] ) identified boron as an element in 1824.

British chemist and inventor Sir Humphry Davy FRS (1778 - 1829).
French chemist and physicist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778 –1850).
French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard (1777 - 1857).
Swedish chemist Friherre Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779 - 1848).

Aluminum

Ancient Greeks and Romans used aluminum salts as dyeing mordants and as astringents for dressing wounds; alum (KAl(SO 4 ) 2 .12H 2 O) is still used as a styptic (an antihaemorrhagic agent). In 1808, Sir Humphry Davy ( [link] ) identified the existence of a metal base of alum, which he at first termed alumium and later aluminum.

The metal was first produced in 1825 (in an impure form) by Hans Christian Ørsted ( [link] ) by the reaction of anhydrous aluminum chloride with potassium amalgam. Friedrich Wöhler ( [link] ) repeated the experiments of Ørsted but suggested that Ørsted had only isolated potassium. By the use of potassium, [link] , he is credited with isolating aluminum in 1827. While Wöhler is generally credited with isolating aluminum, Ørsted should also be given credit.

Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted (1777 - 1851).
German chemist Friedrich Wöhler (1800 - 1882) also known for his synthesis of urea and, thus, the founding of the field of natural products synthesis.

In 1846 Henri Deville ( [link] ) improved Wöhler's method, and described his improvements in particular the use of sodium in place of the expensive potassium

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Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of the main group elements. OpenStax CNX. Aug 20, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11124/1.25
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