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Bromine is a chemical element of VII group of Mendeleev Periodic elements table under number 35, the only liquid element, non-metal.


Bromine discovery

Bromine was discovered in 1826 by Antoine Jerome Balard (1802-1876), a young teacher of Montpellier College. Balard’s discovery made his name famous all around the world. Making studies of Mediterranean salty brines, he discovered a new element which he called “murride” (from Latin muria – brine); but, soon famous French chemist and physicist Gay-Lussac renamed it into bromine.

From one popular book to another assertion roams which says that disappointed by bromine discovery of unknown Antoine Balard who passed ahead Justus Libich, very famous German chemist at that time, Libich exclaimed Balard didn’t discover bromine, but bromine discovered Balard. However. it is not true. or, to be more precise, not entirely true. The phrase had been but it was said not by J. Libich but French chemist Charles Gerard who wanted Auguste Laurent to become the head of Chemical Department in Sorbonne very much, but not A. Balard elected  to the position of professor. And Balard was awarded by London Royal Society medal which was given only for big science contributions.



This is heavy (bromine density exceeds water density more than three times), low-friction, reddish brown liquid which easily vapors at room temperature in the form of red vapor with releasing of strong unpleasant odor, similar to the odor of chlorine and which has  irritating influence to eyes and upper airways; easily dissolves in the water or carbon bisulfide,  making red solution; less active than chlorine but more active than iodine; it is easily compounds with many elements and makes bleaching effect; makes sores when coming on the skin. Bromine is significantly dangerous to the health and when working with it safety measures should be taken.


Bromine in medicine

A key use of bromine is in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

As a remedy against insomnia and nervous overfatigue bromine began to be applied in medicine especially widely in the second half of XIXc. – beginning of XX c. You may find mention about this in the literature of this time, in particular, in the famous writing of Jaroslav Hasek “Osudy dobrego vojaka Svejka za svetove valky”. Bromine is especially effective for recovery of normal correlation between processes of excitation and inhibition in cerebral cortex, that’s why it is concentrated and piled up in the brain. It promotes automatic regulation of interrelated processes in the brain. Besides, in human organism bromine is discovered in the blood, kidneys, thyroid gland.

Bromine takes part in the regulation of central nervous system, normalizes its state when tension, influences the functions of thyroid gland.

Brominated substances are important ingredients of many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including analgesics, sedatives, and antihistamines. In fact, bromine compounds are active ingredients in several drugs that treat pneumonia and cocaine addiction. Currently, several drugs containing bromine compounds are undergoing trials for treatment of Alzheimer's disease and new generations of anti-cancer and AIDS drugs.


Bromine in nuclear physics

Bromine turned to be a part of one of the most important discoveries in the field of nuclear physics.

Among the artificially got radioactive isotopes of bromine the most interesting is bromine-80 on the example of which “atomic bomb father” famous Soviet scientist I.V. Kurchatov discovered the phenomenon of atomic nucleus isomerism.

At present more than 100 nucleus isotopes are known and the number of artificial isotopes achieved 16. E.g., with the help of isotope bromine-82 together with cobalt-60 and sodium-24 some cancerous growths are treated.