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Definition: Platinum metals
, n. [NL., fr. Sp. platina, from plata
silver, LL. plata a thin plate of metal. See Plate
, and cf.
A metallic element of atomic number 78, one of the noble
metals, classed with silver and gold as a precious metal,
occurring native or alloyed with other metals and also as the
platinum arsenide (sperrylite). It is a heavy tin-white metal
which is ductile and malleable, but very infusible (melting
point 1772[deg] C), and characterized by its resistance to
strong chemical reagents. It is used for crucibles in
laboratory operations, as a catalyst, in jewelry, for stills
for sulphuric acid, rarely for coin, and in the form of foil
and wire for many purposes. Specific gravity 21.5. Atomic
weight 195.1. Symbol Pt. Formerly called platina
[1913 Webster +PJC]
(Chem.), a soft, dull black powder,
consisting of finely divided metallic platinum obtained by
reduction and precipitation from its solutions. It absorbs
oxygen to a high degree, and is employed as an oxidizer.
(Elec.), a kind of incandescent lamp of which
the luminous medium is platinum. See under Incandescent
(Chem.), the group of metallic elements
which in their chemical and physical properties resemble
platinum. These consist of the light platinum group, viz.,
rhodium, ruthenium, and palladium, whose specific
gravities are about 12; and the heavy platinum group,
viz., osmium, iridium, and platinum, whose specific
gravities are over 21.
(Chem.), metallic platinum in a gray,
porous, spongy form, obtained by reducing the double
chloride of platinum and ammonium. It absorbs oxygen,
hydrogen, and certain other gases, to a high degree, and
is employed as an agent in oxidizing.