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About Copper

Copper Facts

Copper is a natural element – a metal that has been one of mankind’s most useful and valuable materials. It is represented by the chemical symbol Cu and the atomic number 29.

Copper is also an essential nutrient that is required by virtually all higher life forms. It is an essential component of dietary nutrition that enables the body to metabolize energy and function properly. As with humans, plants and animal health rely on adequate copper intake. The world’s two most important food crops – rice and wheat – are both highly dependent on sufficient copper in soil.

Copper has been indispensable to human progress. In fields ranging from medical equipment to energy efficiency, from jet planes to satellites, from television to the Internet, Copper is vital to our well being in day-to-day life.

Copper is by far the most sustainable gift of nature’s bounty. For as long as humans have put copper to use, they have taken advantage of the fact that it is virtually one hundred percent recyclable. It has always made economic sense to retrieve as much copper as possible from a product, at the end of its life cycle, and re-use it for some new purpose. Moreover, most copper in use, such as roofing, wiring, and plumbing, will remain in use for over half a century.

Copper Insights

Some of the earliest uses of copper we know of dates back to the cave men who used axes and other weapons made of copper. All the way from the Egyptian pyramids to Mohenjo Daro, archaeologists have discovered copper used to make statues and even plumbing systems. What surprised them was the fact that the plumbing was found to still be serviceable in our time!

Ancient belief systems found to be based on scientific facts have proven that Copper, drinking water in copper vessels due to the metal’s anti-fouling properties. considered to be a ‘pure’ metal was best for storing food. Our ancestors would store

Did you know that some of the fastest micro processors in the world are made partly from copper? A major part of the connectors and instrument parts used in space crafts and rockets use copper.

Copper is one of the best and safest conductors of electricity and has replaced aluminium in all areas including house wiring.

Think about this:
Replacing all Aluminium wound transformers with copper can result in annual energy savings of 4500 million kehr of energy and Rs. 1800 crores for India.

The daily dietary recommendation of copper for an adult is 1-2 mg and for a child is 0.5-I mg.

Expectant mothers are advised to double their intake of copper during the third trimester to ensure proper foetal development.

Architectural uses of copper can remain in place for more than a century. Archaeological evidence indicates that copper was used as far back as 10,000 years ago in western Asia. During the prehistoric Chalcolithic Period, societies discovered how to extract and use copper to produce ornaments and implements. As early as the 3rd-4th Millennium BC, copper was actively extracted from Spain's Huelva region. Around 2500 BC, the discovery of useful properties of copper-tin alloys led to the Bronze Age.

It has been documented that Israel's Timna Valley provided copper for the Pharaohs. Papyrus records from ancient Egypt reveal that copper was used to treat infections and sterilize water. The island of Cyprus is known to have supplied much of the copper needed for the empires of ancient Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome.

While the Greeks during Aristotle's era were familiar with brass, it was not until Augustus' Imperial Rome that brass became abundantly used. In South America, the pre-Columbian Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations exploited copper, as well as gold and silver. During the Middle Ages, copper and bronze flourished in China, India, and Japan.

The discoveries and inventions in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries by Ampere, Faraday, and Ohm propelled copper into a new era. Demonstrating excellent electrical conducting and heat transfer characteristics, copper played a pivotal role in launching the Industrial Revolution.

The Name Copper
In their hieroglyphics (picture writing), the ancient Egyptians used the Ankh sign to represent copper. The Ankh was also the symbol of Eternal Life, which is appropriate for copper since it has been used continuously by people for 10,000 years.

Homer, following the Greek practice of around 1000 B.C., called the metal Chalkos. This is why the Copper Age is also known as the Chalcolithic Era.

A thousand years later during the Early Christian Era, the words "aes Cyprium" appeared in Roman writings about copper, because much of the metal at the time came from Cyprus. The word "copper" is an Anglicized term of this Latin phrase.




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