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Learning device, help me expound: on Faraday's choice of ion , and unionized

  1. Apr 13, 2009 #1
    Learning device, help me expound: on Faraday's choice of "ion", and "unionized"

    So I was writing down some notes to myself on electrochemistry (100 level college chemistry---elementary electrochemistry chapter) and I wrote down the word "unionized" (as in, 'un-ionized') and realized that there must be some sort of etymological relations between "union" and "ion". So I look up the etymology of "ion",

    Ion
    1834, introduced by Eng. physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (suggested by William Whewell), coined from Gk. ion, neut. prp. of ienai "go," from PIE base *ei- "to go, to walk" (cf. Gk. eimi "I go;" L. ire "to go," iter "a way;" O.Ir. ethaim "I go;" Ir. bothar "a road" (from *bou-itro- "cows' way"), Gaulish eimu "we go," Goth. iddja "went," Skt. e'ti "goes," imas "we go," ayanam "a going, way;" Avestan ae'iti "goes;" O.Pers. aitiy "goes;" Lith. eiti "to go;" O.C.S. iti "go;" Bulgarian ida "I go;" Rus. idti "to go"). So called because ions move toward the electrode of opposite charge. Ionosphere coined 1926 by R.A. Watson-Watt.

    and I get that. Basically it states that he used "ion" because "ions move toward the electrode of opposite charge". Simple, elegant, good stuff.

    So given the fact that un-ionized is "unionized" (like with workers in a factory), do any free-association types have some kind of elaboration of this coincidence which could help a student better understand the fundamentals of electrochemistry?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2009 #2
    Re: Learning device, help me expound: on Faraday's choice of "ion", and "unionized"

    Oh yeah, and this could be really dumb. Oh well, in order to have good ideas, you have to give the potentially bad ones a voice too
     
  4. Apr 13, 2009 #3

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Learning device, help me expound: on Faraday's choice of "ion", and "unionized"

    Not dumb. I think it's just a coincidence, but I'm not a student of etymology. Still, in my experience, word structure, prefixes and suffixes are very important in medical terminology (I'm an EMT on the side), but not really in EE (my day job).
     
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