Slowly, people started to experiment with materials found in the ground and in caves. Chemistry comes from the Arabic “Al Khemia”, meaning alchemy: to cast together. Gold, copper, tin… they are all taken from the ground using mines, and it's unpleasant work for those who toil in them. Hope you never work in a mine!
People started experimenting with alloys, which are combinations of metals. We moved away from an age of stone, and moved onto bronze. Lovely, shiny… but still not beefy enough. Then we reached the age of iron.
48 of the 117 elements on the periodic table are metals. Of all of them, iron, mined from iron in the ground, right here in Sussex, was a game changer. We started making buildings, trains, tanks, bridges, water pipes, cars, and the industrial revolution was born.
And we never looked back. Now we use steel, and other heavy metals to make big stuff. Read up on the industrial revolution; people like Brunel, Stevenson, Whitney and the men who used iron to shape the future. Then have a think about how you might like to shape your future. And get busy. Thanks for your question.
- Brad, Blast Science.